Deerfield-Windsor baseball star Davis Hines, center, smiles in his UGA hat after signing a preferred walk-ok status letter-of-intent with the University of Georgia on Tuesday the school. Hines was joined at the signing ceremony by his grandparents George and Liz Lavendar. (Laurie Allen/Special to The Herald)
ALBANY — Davis Hines never dreamed of playing anywhere else.
After growing up taking road trips with his dad to Athens to watch University of Georgia football and baseball games, the Deerfield-Windsor senior dreamed of one day slipping on a Bulldogs hat as more than just a fan.
When he finally did Tuesday, it felt perfect.
Hines, the Knights’ star centerfielder, officially committed to Georgia, signing as a preferred walk-on, which doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot — but it does guarantee him a chance.
“It’s always been a dream of mine and my family’s to play for the University of Georgia,” Hines said. “It’s easy when you are young to think you will one day play at Georgia and that it’s destined for you to be there. But as you get older you realize the hard work it takes to get there.”
DWS coach Rod Murray thinks it’s Hines’ work ethic that will earn him a spot at UGA.
“Any time you have the speed that he has and the work ethic he has, I think he has a shot to do well in Athens with coach David Perno,” Murray said.
Hines was on The Herald All-Area team last season after finishing with a .353 batting average, scoring 13 runs and knocking in 14 RBI, but Murray says his stats don’t begin to tell the senior’s story.
“He is unbelievable in the outfield as far as how much ground he can cover,” Murray said. “He gets a great jump on the ball and has an above-average arm to control the running game. He is going to be a big part of our success this year. But more than anything, he is just a great teammate and a great kid. We look forward to a tremendous season out of him this year.”
Hines is one of nine seniors for the Knights, who open the season March 8 in a tournament at Tattnall Square in Macon.
“We have a lot of leadership,” Hines said. “I’m just excited that this part of it is over, because I am ready to focus on my team and win a state championship.”