The hassles that come along with continuing a baseball career became irrelevant to Sierra High graduate Kenny Leasure this summer.
The Sierra High graduate signed an athletic scholarship to attend Centenary College in Shreveport, La. and play baseball for the Gents’.
“I am definitely excited about this opportunity,” Leasure said. “I have been wanting to go out and get on my own and mature a little bit, and it’s exciting to get a chance to do something I love and go to schoo l at the same time.”
Centenary is an NCAA Division-I baseball program that competes in the the Summit League, where the club finished 17-9 for third place. The program is known for its strong and competitive non-conference schedule and has experienced success against the likes of LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Former Valley Oak League Pitcher of the Year Boone Whiting (Oakdale, 2007) closed out an impressive 3-year career with the Gents this past season, earning the Summit League’s Pitcher of the Year award. The program will be moving to the Division III ranks, competing in the American Southwest Conference beginning July 1, 2011.
“I’ve talked to the coach, and we feel if I can do as well as I know I can, he can find me another place to play at the D-1 level,” Leasure said. “But if I really like it there, more than likely I will just stay put.
“It all depends on how I like the school.”
Leasure was one of the more versatile players in the VOL this season. He was named the Bulletin’s Defensive Player of the Year after going 3-1 on the mound and saving five wins. Leasure also roamed the yard in all three outfield spots, helping him garner first-team all-VOL honors.
“I am pretty much focused on playing where ever he (first year head coach Mike Diaz) wants me to play is where I’ll be,” Leasure said. “He is looking at me more for outfield, but if he needs me to really focus on pitching then I’ll focus on it.”
Diaz will be taking over for recently departed head coach Ed McCann. McCann led the program for 12 seasons and took on the role for head coach at Alabama A&M.