Hadwin signs NLI to Flying Fleet
by Cindy Crosby | November 20, 2018 9:09 pm
Colleton County Cougar Baseball had a historic day Tuesday, November 20, 2018, when four players inked scholarships to continue their academic and athletic career at the collegiate level.
One of those four seniors, right-handed pitcher Chase Hadwin, inked his NLI to continue his career for Erskine College, located in Due West, South Carolina. The NCAA Division II Flying Fleet participates in Conference Carolinas.
Today’s signing was the culmination of a 13-year journey for Hadwin, who came up through the recreational league and has been playing the game of baseball since he was four-years old.
A three-year varsity letterman and six-year program veteran, Hadwin will complete his senior season for the Cougars this spring. He was named Cougar Junior Varsity MVP (2016) and was a member of the Dixie Boys State Championship team (2015) from Hampton.
Recently committing to the Flying Fleet over Limestone College, Hadwin acknowledges Erskine felt like family to him. “While I was there on a visit, they truly made me feel like a part of the family,” he said. “It just felt like a place that would not only make me a better player – but also a better person. I feel like I can contribute by being a team guy and sacrificing myself when necessary for the betterment of the team.”
“Academics were also a major consideration when it came time to make my decision,” said Hadwin. “Erskine had a great program in which I choose to major in.”
Across his years on the diamond, Hadwin naturally credits his success to a host of coaches along the way – including Ryan Mingin, Corey Mingin, Jermale Paige, Chad Gleaton, Paul Pye and his father, Jason Hadwin.
“I’d really thank to thank everyone who has been there for me since day one, pushing me to be the best person and baseball player I could be,” said Hadwin. “To all the coaches and families that were part of my journey, I thank you. I would especially like to thank my family for always pushing me and encouraging me to be a great young man while playing the game I love.”
Colleton County District Athletic Director opened the ceremony saying, “This is a very special day for these young men and for Colleton County High School as it is the first time in recent history that we’ve had four baseball players sign on the same day.”
“Four years ago, I came here and had the opportunity to coach one of these young men in basketball and had another in my physical education class – so this is fun for me after having watched them grow over the course of the last four years,” said Hammond. “I’m really excited and proud of each of you and can’t wait to watch you play your senior season.”
Principal Maurice Cannon also spoke during the ceremony saying, “For so many of our students, athletics and other extracurricular activities serve as a way out or an opportunity to open new doors. Here we have four scholars who are really the epitome of scholar-athletes, having proven capable of the academic rigor and what it takes to go on to post-secondary education as well as represent on the athletic field. To these students, I say congratulations and I ask that the same foundation you have received at Colleton County High School – you take on to your post-secondary schools of your choice. To all the families in attendance today, I also say congratulations for raising such fine young men who are going to go on and represent us and Colleton County High School in such a fine way.”
Coach Jermale Paige, credited with turning around the program since his hiring, was clearly emotional in his heartfelt speech to his players. “This will come from the heart,” said Paige. “Five years ago, I came to this program and since then I have had the pleasure of watching you all grow and mature into the young men you are today. For the past ten years, you got up and put in the work – doing what you needed to do by going to the field and getting better. Through four seasons, summer, fall, winter and spring, for 10 years, you’ve done the work – and today it has finally paid off. You’ve made this community proud, you’ve made your families proud – and you’ve made me proud. I love each of you more than I can say.”
Boasting a 3.5 GPA, Hadwin is the son of Jason and Ashley Hadwin. He plans to pursue an undergraduate degree at Erskine and hopes to become a physical therapist.