Keys to Sucess
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity – an opportunity that some don’t get,” Keyes said.
Although few athletes immediately make the leap from high school to professional sports, basketball stars like LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Kobe
Bryant have proven athletes can be successful without college experience. While
MLB drafts students out of high school, the NFL and now the NBA requires
players to have at least some college experience. Skipping college or leaving
school early to go pro is a heavily debated topic in the sports world.
“The way our society is today, everybody values things by how much something is worth moneywise,” varsity baseball coach Trent Dunavant said. “I think if you wave a
million and a half or two million dollars in front of a high school kid, with
that proposition, it’s very difficult to turn down the offer and go to
Pro scouts are also impressed with the offensive side of Keyes’ game. In 18 games so far this season, the senior’s batting average is .478, with 22 hits, 16 runs and 17
“He’s the offensive leader of our team,” Dunavant said. “His knowledge of the strike zone and power at the plate makes him extremely hard to strike out.”
If Keyes is selected in a late round, the senior says he’s more likely to head just down the road to the University of Texas on a full baseball scholarship.
“If I go in the draft, I would like to go in the top two rounds because that’s where the good money is,” Keyes said. “I look forward to getting started on my
professional career, playing with good athletes every day, making money doing
what I love.”
For the moment, Keyes is doing what he loves at the baseball diamond set back behind the school. Keyes, who has been on the varsity team since his freshman year,
plays centerfield and is one of four relief pitchers. The senior also serves as
the team’s closer and has struck out 11 batters this season.
“Speed, power, agility – he knows the game and how to play it,” Dunavant said.
Keyes has racked up several awards, winning Newcomer of the Year his freshman year, being named All-District as a sophomore, and last year was a member of the All-State
team and a participant in the AFLAC All-Star game in California.
If Keyes decides not to go pro, the senior looks forward to playing for Longhorns head coach Augie Gurido. Gurido, who has
coached Texas’ baseball team for 11 years, has two national championships in
the last five years.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to play for Augie Gurido and the Longhorns,” Keyes said. “I’d love to play down there,[it would be] great with the atmosphere and
Regardless of his post-high school plans, Keyes’ current goal is to help the team be playoff bound in May.
“I look for us to get in playoffs, and to go as far as we can,” Dunavant said. “We look to get better every week we play, and if we can get into the playoffs, anything
can happen after that point.”
Keyes will continue to contemplate his decision as he and the baseball team move toward the second half of district.
“I don’t know [what my decision is] yet. I’ll play my senior year and see how things look,” Keyes said.