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Local arm has big dreams
Colleges calling LCHS pitchers name
Watkins is also a strong hitter for the Panther squad. He logged several home runs last season. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Working to fulfill a childhood dream, Liberty County High School incoming senior pitcher Joe Watkins kept busy this summer with his traveling team, the Southeastern Athletics.

Last month, Watkins was selected to the Georgia Dugout Club’s top 100 underclassmen team. The appointment caught the attention of area college scouts, many of whom attended showcase events in which Watkins participated.

"My dream has been to play college baseball," said the right-handed hurler, who was just 4 years old when he started playing. "That started happening July 1."

Watkins said the NCAA has a rule that prevents college scouts and recruiters from speaking with underclassmen until they become seniors. Under the guidelines, Watkins officially was classified as an incoming senior July 1.

"On July 1, I woke up and I had six missed calls," he said. "Before that day, I had never heard from a college before. But I woke up that day and I had all these calls from colleges. I never thought I was being looked at but they told me that ever since I was 13 or 14, they’ve been watching me."

Pick up a copy of Friday's Coastal Courier for the complete story.

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