Lehmann sticking to baseball

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mike Lehmann won’t be a two sport star at Pearl River Central High School.

Lehmann, who as an all-state pitcher guided the Blue Devils to their first ever division title last season, was expected to be the starting quarterback for PRC this season on the football field.

Instead, after a recent trip to the prestigious East Coast Professional Showcase in Wilmington, North Carolina two weeks ago, Lehmann informed the Blue Devil football staff Saturday morning that he would be skipping football this season to concentrate on his future on the diamond.

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“I’ve played football ever since I was old enough to play, and this was a tough decision to make,” said Lehmann, who transferred into PRC last year from Chalmette, La., after Hurricane Katrina. “But my dream has always been to play pro baseball, and I had to think about the possibility of getting hurt and my health in football. I just think this is the best thing for me.”

Every year during the first week of August, pro scouts invite the top rising seniors to participate in the East Coast Professional Showcase.

About 150 players from 26 states came to Wilmington, filling out rosters of six teams competing in four games over a four-day span. Last year, the top overall pick in June’s pro baseball draft Justin Upton and Chris Volstad, the 16th overall selection, were among the players in attendance in Wilmington.

Lehmann, who has already committed to sign a baseball scholarship with Tulane in November, said that the indication he got from the pro scouts was that depending on his development this season he could go in the top five rounds of next year’s draft. He was the only player from Mississippi invited.

“There’s no hard feelings. In fact, I’m not sure if I was in the same position I wouldn’t have done the same thing,” new PRC head coach Jeremy Weir said. “We had prepared for the possibility of this happening. We have worked Blake Herrin there in the Spring and throughout the Summer, and we are pleased with what he’s doing. We all wish Mike a lot of luck.”