Athens High's Austin Howard poses with family and coaches after signing to play baseball at the University of Rio Grande
Thu, Jun. 21, 2012 - [Baseball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
ATHENS, Ohio - University of Rio Grande head baseball coach Brad Warnimont has announced the signing of Athens High School's Austin Howard for the 2013 season.
Howard, a 6-foot, 220-pound first baseman, helped the Bulldogs to a 19-5-1 finish. Head coach Fred Gibson's team reached the semifinal round of the Division II Southeast District Tournament before suffering a heart-breaking, season-ending loss in extra innings to Fairfield Union.
Howard batted .368, while also ranking second on the team in home runs (2), runs batted in (28), doubles (12) and extra-base hits (14). The honorable mention All-District selection also had a .605 slugging percentage and a .402 on-base percentage.
"Athens had a great season this year and Austin was a big part of it by anchoring their infield," Warnimont said. "He was right up there among the team leaders in a bunch of different departments. I think he'll make a nice addition to our infield."
Needless to say, Howard was estatic over the chance to continue his playing career at a higher level.
"I've always wanted to take my career as far as I could and getting to the college level is an awesome feeling," he said. "Getting this opportunity is a goal I've had since I started playing 15 years ago."
Howard, who remains undecided on a major, pointed to Rio's success on the diamond under Warnimont - the program has averaged just under 31 wins per season in his 11 seasons at the helm - as one of the main factors in his decision to join the RedStorm.
"I feel as if I can bring good, positive energy - and more power - to the team," he said. "My speed is what I really need to work on, but I plan to play as hard as I can, work hard and make my college dreams pay off."
Howard is the son of Vicki Howard of Athens.