Payton Edwards was the latest in a handful of Shasta College baseball product to make the jump to the next level, turning a season that didn’t pencil out in the win column into one where that will see multiple players on four-year diamonds.
In front of family, friends, coaches and well-wishers, Edwards on Friday signed his letter of intent to play baseball next year at Cal State Monterey Bay.
“This is kind of where it’s about. Obviously, I want to win league championships and titles, but I think when it’s all said and done, getting them in and getting them out to an opportunity to play a couple more years of baseball,” Shasta College baseball coach Brad Rupert said. “This is 99 percent of why I get so excited about my job – seeing these kids move on.”
“I love this day with family and friends and old coaches.”
Edwards, who played prep ball at Anderson and Red Bluff, led the 7-32 Knights with a .356 average last season in 104 at-bats. He had 37 hits, 23 runs, three home runs and drove in 18.
He hit .374 over his last two years of high school for Red Bluff, collecting 77 hits, 57 RBI and popping four home runs.
Edwards joins Easton Waterman (Point Loma), Daniel Duarte (Benedictine), Max Holtzclaw (Northwest Nazarene), Colby Milligan (The University of Texas of the Permian Basin), Eric Papas (New Mexico Highlands) and Jackson O’Neal (Dakota State University) as Knights who’ve moved on to four-year schools.
Edwards said he talked to Monterey Bay coach Walt White out of high school, but decided to stay home and play for the Knights, Rupert and his father, Scotty Edwards, one of Shasta’s assistants.
“I could’ve tried to walk on, but I thought I could get better if I played somewhere for two years. It’s been a big benefit,” Payton Edwards said.
And playing for his father has been a time both said they wouldn’t forget.
“All the coaches did a great job of getting me prepared for this,” he said. “He (Scotty) helped me because I couldn’t really ever slack off.”
Scotty Edwards said the father-son dynamic is “funky” but they managed to be able to draw a line when it was coach-player and when it became father-son.
“It’s rewarding as a dad and a coach,” Scotty Edwards said. “ As a coach, you’re always happy to see players move on and further their career in a sport and education. As a dad, you’re very proud when your son has an opportunity to go on and play sports.”
The Otters were 35-23 last season and Payton Edwards said he’s pegged as an infielder and nearly half of the roster graduated, which included former Anderson teammate Jeffrey Ahern.
“I never thought I’d be able to play in college until I got older and realized that it was realistic,” Payton Edward said. “It hasn’t really settled in that I’m leaving soon to play baseball, bu it’s amazing.”
- CIF cancels spring sports schedules, championships
- Basketball all-league teams announced for Northern Section
- Northern Section all-league soccer teams announced
- UPDATE: CIF takes wait-and-see approach with canceling spring season; schools remain closed into April
- CIF cancels state basketball finals; spring sports could be in jeopardy