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Volunteer catcher Adkins signs with King University

JIMMY MOORE, TriCitiesSports.com • Jul 15, 2017 at 9:14 PM

CHURCH HILL — With family, teammates and coaches looking on, Volunteer catcher Lucas Adkins signed on the dotted line Thursday to play for head coach Blaine Brown at King University.

The signee was the leadoff hitter for the Falcons the past two years and may have led the Big Seven Conference in on-base percentage (.490) this past season, according to Falcon head coach Justin Hite.

“Lucas is a guy that when you talk about building your program, he’s an example of what you want,” he said. “He was a leader. I always joked with him that he probably took more rear-end chewings than anybody because he was the catcher. But he led by example. I knew that any message I sent to Lucas was making it downhill to the team. King is getting a really good one.

“So much of playing college athletics is not just on the field or in practice, you’re a student-athlete first,” noted Hite. “He has developed those good habits here and it will carry over into college and he will do very well.”

Adkins started playing ball as a 4-year old with his father, Jeff, along with David Hill as his coaches and moved on up through travel ball, middle school and then on to Volunteer.

“Me and his mother (Tonya) are excited about this next transition,” said his father. “He has a lot to learn, but he’s excited to do whatever it takes to play the game. “We’re really proud of him. The staff here has worked really hard with him and gave him every opportunity to do what he wanted to do.

“From the little boy when he started out to where he is now has just been an awesome journey.”

Adkins, who hit .279 this past season, also got aboard with 15 walks and 14 hit-by-pitches while scoring 20 runs for the Falcons.

“I really love the game,” said Adkins. “I have played since I was a little boy, and my papaw, my dad and all the coaches that I have played for have really helped me get here.”

The King staff had seen Adkins play in a road game at Tennessee High, but he was not sure he would be able to play at the next level until he received a call from coach Brown about a month ago.

“They wanted me and my parents to come up for a visit and it went from there,” he said. “I just wanted the opportunity to play baseball, and they are giving me that. It is close to home, and my family can come and watch me play.”

Adkins plans on a career in civil engineering and will enter a 3-2 program at King University with the first three years in Bristol and two years at the University of Tennessee. King is in the process of setting up a program to allow a student to get the degree at King.

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