Devils sign with Marion

Published 2:48 am Monday, May 22, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
Two Escambia County High School Blue Devils will be entering the military next year. Darius English and Alvin Simmons will be playing baseball at Marion Military Institute next season for Bret Simmermacher.
English and Simmons participated in a tryout camp May 11 for Simmermacher and Simmermacher like what he saw and offered both athletes a scholarship.
Those scholarships were signed May 18 in the ECHS library. Simmermacher said he likes the athleticism both Devils showed him at the camp.
"I just love the size that Alvin has and the quickness Darius possesses," he said. "They both handled themselves well at the camp and I like their athleticism."
The opportunity to play collegiate sports is not something every person who has played sports can do and both English and Simmons realize this fact.
"I am excited and I know not a lot of guys get to move on to the next level and I feel fortunate to get a chance to play college ball," Simmons said. "It feels good because this is something I have always wanted to do."
Simmons is also happy to have a teammate sign at the same college he did.
"It is a plus because I already know how Darius plays and that is always a good thing to have on a team," he said.
English realizes how big an opportunity this is to get an education as well as further his athletic career.
"I am happy because I have wanted to do this all my life and I am happy to be able to help my parents pay for college," he said.
ECHS head baseball coach Keith Nall said it will be hard to fill the holes left by English and Simmons, along with the rest of the ECHS Class of 2006.
"It is a big loss for our program," Nall said. "But it is a big step for these two guys and I am glad for them. It is good to see them continue their careers and get their college paid for. And Marion will be good for them because they will be more disciplined there than at any other college because of the military background of the school."

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