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Pavusek signs to play baseball with King University

Petie Pavusek is pictured signing baseball scholarship papers to play baseball at King University with hisBy Tim Chambers
SPORTS EDITOR
A big Christmas gift came early for Johnson County’s baseball standout Petie Pavusek. The talented catcher signed scholarship papers to play baseball with King University on Thursday before a large gathering of friends and students at Johnson County High School. 
He’s the second Longhorns’ athlete to ink at the NCAA Division 2 level over the past two years. Blake Atwood is currently a member of King’s basketball team, so Pavusek will likely turn to the former Longhorns to help him make the transition. 
Pavusek was also a standout golfer for the Longhorns and is considered one of the top signal-callers in the area. The four-year starter began thinking about college baseball while in Little League during batting practice. 
My dad would take me to the cage and throw BP to me, said the younger Pavusek who plays high school baseball for his dad, Pete Pavusek, one of the most winning coaches ever in East Tennessee with over 335 victories. 
Signing early takes a lot of pressure off Pavusek, who said it was an unreal feeling. 
“Sitting down in that seat and signing on that dotted line was like having the biggest breath of fresh air that you could ever have,” said Pavusek. “I can’t really explain it. Fourteen years of work going up to the batting cages and working so hard makes it all worthwhile. We don’t have many facilities up here, so getting to play at this level is so surreal. Being only one of two athletes to sign at this level is very special. I know that I need to get stronger and stuff to play, but I’ve wanted to play ever since I saw Nick Widner sign to play. I’ve been to a lot of baseball camps and got my name out there. It’s so gratifying to see that it’s all paid off.”
 They know that I am a hard worker. I’ve got to put on a little more weight and get stronger, but there is a reason they recruited me. They know that they can build off what they have right now, and they can mold me into the player that I need to be.
Pavusek has enjoyed playing for his dad, but he said it’s very tough sometimes. 
We used to get the batting cages late at night, and it was hard but only because I made it hard on myself to be the best that I can be. Our goal this year is to get out of the District. Last year we were 12-8, which is not bad for up here, but we would like to win 15 or more games this season and get out of the District for the first time. 
He said upon his visit to King; all the coaching staff was right there waiting for him when he stepped out of the car. They wanted to know how I was, and that impressed me with all them standing there waiting.”
The King coaching staff got a gem in Pavusek. 
He’s been like a coach on the field and has hit around the 300 marks over the past two seasons. 
He is the son of Angie Hurley and Pete and Diane Pavusek. He has a younger brother Peyton who will be a freshman player for the Longhorns’ this season. 
“I’ve really never had to coach him,” said his dad and JCHS’ head coach Pete Pavusek. “He does his own thing and has great work ethics. We’ve talked about it before, so it’s kind so surreal. You see it happen, and I think back to Little League when we had a 10 a.m. game, and we would be at the batting cage at 8. He wanted to play ball at an early age, and I wanted him too. I played college baseball, so I always tried to help him learn from my mistakes, and I always wanted it to be about him and not me. He was very calm and smooth-talking to the King coaches when we went over there earlier this year. Coach Brown at King is doing one heck of a job because he’s been there around 10 or 11 years. I fell like it will be a good fit for him.
The younger Pavusek likes the idea of being close to home but far enough away to stay on campus.
“I’m close enough to where my buddies and teammates can come and watch me,” said Pavusek. That a really good thing.”
Pavusek played football and basketball in junior high but turned his focus toward baseball upon entering high school. He was the team’s starting catcher during his freshman campaign and is definitely like having a coach on the field with all his experience. 
Pauvsek will likely be a jewel on the diamond for King, and the Longhorn nation should be proud of his accomplishments. They should also enjoy watching him grow into a well-seasoned player in 2020. teammates present.  Photo contributed by Petie Pavusek