Three Miller School baseball players signed with three different Virginia universities in front of a crowd in the school’s gym Wednesday afternoon ahead of the Mavericks’ pursuit of its third straight state championship.
Jack Masloff followed former Mavericks state champion pitcher Connor Gillispie to VCU, while Nate Burton will head to Mary Washington and Matt Sykes inked with George Mason.
Sykes, a Northern Virginia native, is excited to return to his hometown to continue his career, where it will allow those who are close to him to watch him play.
“I’m really familiar with the area, and I have family in Arlington and Southern Maryland,” Sykes said. “It’ll be great to be close to them. Great campus, great school.”
Burton, who is capable of playing several different positions, including pitcher and catcher, will be the lone Maverick on the Mary Washington roster when he joins the Eagles next season.
Masloff enters his first season with the Mavericks and looks forward to continuing the traditional pipeline of Miller players to VCU, the most recent being Gillespie and Mike Dailey.
“It was definitely nice to join Connor and Mike there,” Masloff said. “They’re both pitchers too, so it’ll be nice to have them guide me through the college process. I’m excited to continue my career and play at the next level.”
All three players also pointed to the coaching staffs at each school as reasons why they made their choices.
“[Mason’s] interest in me was genuine,” Sykes said. “As far as baseball goes, I couldn’t ask for better coaches. I think they can really help me become the player I want to be.”
Mavericks head coach Billy Wagner, himself a former college player in Virginia at Ferrum before his Major League Baseball career, took great pride in the fact that another group of his players will be representing Miller School at the next level.
“It’s fun for me because it’s really about the kids, and they want to have the opportunity to play at the next level,” Wagner said. “As a coach, the reward is not the wins, it’s when these kids go on to be good people and also excel in baseball.”
Unlike some other sports, these players will get to play their final season without the added stress of the recruiting process.
“It’s definitely nice to have the stress off my back,” Sykes said. “Going forward this season, it’s nice to be able to focus on winning.”
Added Burton: “I’m just looking forward to trying to get a third ring and enjoy the season with old teammates and new teammates.”
Miller baseball celebrates decision day for Matt Sykes- George Mason, Nate Burton- University of Mary Washington and Jack Masloff- VCU. pic.twitter.com/myTTSOzw0Y
— scrimmageplay (@scrimmageplay) November 14, 2018