Baseball standout selects Liberty

Published 7:47 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Josh Henderson, here with Canes Baseball during a tournament at Christopher Newport in July, signed a baseball scholarship offer and National Letter of Intent with Liberty on Wednesday. Henderson, a home-schooled student, plays with First Baptist Christian School. Henderson was on the East All-Star Team at the Perfect Game All-American Classic played at San Diego’s Petco Park in August.

Josh Henderson has thought about being a student at Liberty University for a long time. The goal of playing baseball for the Flames came a little later.

On Wednesday, Henderson signed a scholarship offer committing to Liberty’s baseball program starting in the 2012-13 school year.

“I just felt like it was the right place. I’m very comfortable with the coaches. I’ve been very comfortable with the school for awhile,” Henderson said.


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Josh’s loyalty to Liberty goes back to when he was 12 and visiting his older brother while he was at LU.

“On the campus, I remember saying to myself, ‘This would be a great school to go to. This is such a great campus,’” Henderson said.

The few years in between have included Henderson playing baseball all over the country.

Henderson is a home-schooled student and plays baseball on the scholastic level with First Baptist Christian School, as the Crusader centerfielder.

Henderson plays year around with the Canes Baseball club. Through the Canes, Henderson made the Perfect Game All-American Classic in August, playing with and against the best rising seniors in the country on the East All-Star Team in San Diego’s Petco Park.

As Henderson’s played all over the country, scouts and coaches from far and wide learned plenty about him. Henderson’s earned elite praise for every aspect of his game, from his knowledge of the game, speed and defense to his contact and power at the plate.

Liberty was Henderson’s choice over a final cut including North Carolina and Louisiana State.

“I feel great now that it’s over. Going through everything for the past year or year-and-a-half, being recruited was great but it was very, very stressful at times,” Henderson said.

“Different coaches are calling in, giving you deadlines to decide on a scholarship offer they’ve given you,” Henderson said. “It became very stressful.”

“When it came down to the end, it was not a hard decision at all. I know Liberty is where I’m supposed to commit to. I know it’s the best school, the best fit, for me,” he said.

As much time and effort as Henderson’s put into the game, in some ways baseball happened to fit in with his commitment to Liberty.

“I really like the fact that it’s a Christian environment,” Henderson said. “It matches up with how I’ve been raised.”

Henderson signed the official paperwork Wednesday evening in Hampton along with Wayne Gomes, an Old Dominion alum, former MLB pitcher and owner of the Virginia Baseball Academy in Hampton.

Gomes coached Henderson from age 13-15. Henderson’s time playing for Gomes included playing in older age groups.

“I was 13 playing against guys 15, 16, 17 years old,” Henderson said.

“(Gomes) really challenged me,” Henderson said. “I honestly believe he helped me out so much. I really appreciated that and all he’s done for me.”

Henderson also thanks Nansemond River baseball coaches Mark Stuffel and Tom Lowe. While never being a Warrior, Henderson’s practiced for countless hours at Nansemond River’s field.

Henderson and Brandon Lowe, Tom’s son and a senior shortstop for the Warriors who’s committed to play at Maryland, have been teammates going back to tee-ball at Bennett’s Creek Little League.

Liberty went 42-19 last season, finishing second in the Big South. The Flames had seven players get drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft and an eighth player sign into the pros as a free agent.

LU is building a new baseball facility, with a 3,000-seat capacity, which is set to open for the 2013 season, Henderson’s freshman year.