By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
One Longhorn has decided to roam the prairie as a “Buffalo” at Milligan College for the next four years after casting his lot with the orange and black. Nick Whitener signed with the baseball ‘Buffs on Thursday in front of family, teammates and friends at Johnson County High School inside the library.
Whitener hit near 400 last year and was the team’s top pitcher, recording six wins. He also carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and scored a dazzling 31 on his ACT test. He was ecstatic about the opportunity to attend Milligan.
“I fell in love with the place on my first visit,” said Whitener. “I was planning on going there if they made me an offer. They are one of the state’s top academic colleges and that sold me right there. It’s all about baseball and education. That is where my two top priorities lie.”
“Whitener has some recent ties with Milligan that enabled him to get his foot into the door. He played on a summer league baseball team coached by Ryan White, a former Buffalo.
“I’ve worked so hard for this,” said Whitener. “It’s absolutely a blessing to wear the Milligan uniform. I went down there this summer and played. I had some good at-bats and done some things well in the field that I believe grabbed their attention. One thing led to another. This is a dream come true for me.”
Whitener’s love for baseball made him give up the opportunity to play football and basketball in high school. He said it’s been hard at times, but he would do it all over again.
“It makes it all worthwhile because I passed on some opportunities to play other sports,” added Whitener. “I was always working on my game in the offseason and there were lots of times my friends wanted to do stuff where I couldn’t because of workouts. It’s good to see that the fruits of my labor have finally paid off. I want to make the most of this.”
Whitener’s work ethic both on and off the field also caught the eye of Milligan’s head skipper Nathan Meade. He believes that Whitener could be a diamond in the rough.
“We saw Nick play a couple of times and he played for one of our former players, Ryan White,” said Meade. “He and I got together this summer because Ryan wanted me to check him out. We did and we fell in love with Nick and the type of young man that he was. We had him over for a visit and one thing led to another and now he’s going to be in orange and black next year. We’re very excited about that.”
Meade feels like Whitener will be the perfect fit for the Buffaloes.
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