SAN ANGELO, TX -- San Angelo Central head baseball coach Patrick Penry has known his seniors for a while. He first met pitcher Trey Neslage when he was in elementary school and Nixon Brannan in eighth grade. He knew they had potential then.
On Friday, the two made their college plans official and signed to play ball at the next level. Neslage is headed to Trinity University in San Antonio, while Brannan will attend North Central Texas College in Gainesville.
Penry said the worry with young players standing out at such a young age is whether they'd lose motivation. His seniors never lost that fire.
"But these two individuals, unbelievable work ethic in terms of being able to tell them to go do something and take care of business. And not even telling them what to do and they know what to do," Penry said. "A lot of that has to do with being on the varsity baseball team for so long. They just knew what was expected and they're workers."
Neslage is relishing the moment of getting to be a freshman again and harmless rites of passage from his new teammates.
"It can't feel any better. I'm excited," the southpaw said. "Just kinda getting a new start. I get to be a freshman again and get hazed on the field. It's gonna be new, but I'm excited. I really am."
Neslage had a few options to choose from, but ultimately, the academic reputation and campus sold him on Trinity.
"I felt at home there. I could really see myself walking the campus and everything," Neslage said.
Brannan echoed Neslage's sentiment of excitement for the next chapter of his life.
"It feels awesome. I'm ready to start the next chapter and see what happens," Brannan said.
Growth and development are the goal for the senior battery. That's why he chose the junior college staple NCTC.
"I really just wanted to find a school that I could develop and grow for two years," Brannan said. "Then, hopefully, find somewhere at the next level and continue on."
The Bobcats finished 24-14-1 this year and advanced to the area round of playoffs.