Southern’s Hedrick signs with Presbyterian

Jan. 13, 2014 @ 01:49 PM

Ryan Hedrick doesn’t shy away from working hard to accomplish his goals.

During his career at Southern Guilford, he’s helped his team steadily rebuild and become a conference contender. At the same time, he’s also grown into a top-level player individually, signing with Presbyterian College to continue playing baseball at the NCAA Division I level.

“It feels great. It’s one of my biggest dreams, to go somewhere and play,” says Hedrick, the son of Christy and Eric of High Point. “It started in tee ball — just keep going as high as I can go and as far as I can go until I can’t do it 

Hedrick, who pitches and also plays infield, began playing baseball when he was 4 or 5 years old — “Whenever I could hold a baseball,” he says. He grew up also playing other sports, but he says that none of them compared to his love for baseball.

Much of that grew out of the passion his dad, who passed away when Hedrick was in the sixth grade, also had. When he was growing up, Hedrick helped his team, which was coached by his dad, go undefeated several years in a row, and that fueled his interest in baseball.

“Me and my dad were outside working pretty much every day of the year, just out there getting it done,” he recalls of his years playing at Archdale’s Creekside Park. “He told me when I was about 8 or 9 that I could go pretty far if I kept my mind to it and kept going.”

Into high school, Hedrick, who also played football and basketball, largely focused on baseball. And his individual talent was apparent, hitting a school-record three home runs in a game against North Forsyth. But the Storm were in a lull after a number of seniors graduated.

So, his freshman and sophomore years were challenging. But he continued to work hard, play well — including striking out a school-record 18 hitters against Reidsville his sophomore year — and kept helping his team get better. During his junior year, the Storm improved 

Southern went 13-11 — a 10-win improvement over his freshman year — was in contention to win the Mid-Piedmont 3A Conference on the final day and qualified for the state playoffs. Hedrick was selected the MPC Player of the Year as well as the team MVP and offensive 

“Ryan has a very strong work ethic, but his character’s even stronger than that,” Storm head coach Jeff Carter says. “He’s a leader by example, and he’s the type of kid who’s approachable. He doesn’t go around touting his 

“Using a basketball cliche, Ryan is the baseball equivalent of a gym rat. He’s the first to get there, and he’s always the last to leave. He wants to take extra ground balls, or if you’re in the batting cage he’ll wear out your arm. His ethic has always served him well – he loves the game.”

But during his recruitment, Hedrick, who also played for the Yak showcase team, wasn’t getting many looks. So, he contacted Greg Suire of the HiToms, with whom he’d attended a camp when he was younger, and Suire invited him to play with the Post 87 HiToms in the fall.

Suire talked with a few college coaches, including Blue Hose assistant Jamie Serber (who also coached at High Point University), and helped get the word out. Hedrick eventually narrowed his top choices to include Division I Presbyterian and Division II Catawba.

“At first, I was thinking about Catawba,” says Hedrick, who wants to study sports management. “But then I got to thinking that the DI level would probably be a better opportunity for me, and I love the coaches. That’s kind of what determined my decision.

“Deep down I just felt that they had a better opportunity for me than a DII school. When you play DI, you’re playing schools like Florida State and Clemson, and they’re going to have more of the major league scouts out there and I’d have a better chance of playing at the next level.”