Richmond Hill High School baseball player Braden Henle made it official he will continue his diamond career in college earlier this week. Tuesday Henle signed to play for the Emmanuel College.
“It is just surreal the feeling right now, friends family coming out supporting me. It is just a great feeling,” he said.
RHHS Head Baseball Coach Stacy Bennett remembered first meeting Henle when he was 11 or 12 years old.
“A smaller fellow … huge hair, could hardly put a hat on, always had sunglasses on his head. But those things changed, he got taller, he got a lot stronger. The thing that never changed was his love for baseball and just his will to compete and work hard,” he said.
Henle, who batted .333 and drove in 15 runs for the Wildcat team that reached the Elite 8 of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs this year, feels his hard work and dedication paid off.
“I felt like some school would want me I just didn’t think it’d be this school. I am just glad someone recognized my talents,” he said.
And while Emmanuel is located in the small town of Franklin Springs, Ga. Henle said that’s just the right setting for him.
“It is really close to Athens you can always find something to do. I don’t think I will ever be bored up there. It may be a small town but I think it will be the right town for me,” he said.
The Emmanuel Lions compete in the NCAA’s Division II in the Carolinas Conference. Henle said he expects to see a higher level of competition there than he did in high school.
“I think the step up is going to be the pitching. There are going to be a lot of the number one pitchers out there. It is going to be a lot harder to hit,” he said.
Henle, an infielder in high school doesn’t know yet what his collegiate position will be.
“I don’t really know right now, I guess I will find out when I get there,” he said.