Wildcat pitcher Matt Graney recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.
"It feels really good to go to the next level and to keep playing baseball," Graney said.
He was joined by teammates and family on June 12 at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in celebration of the signing.
"A lot of things have gotten Matt to the point he’s at now, such as unbelievable attitude, great work ethic and talent," Richmond Hill High School assistant baseball coach Sean Strickland said. "The turn around he has made from the time he was a freshman to now is remarkable and a testament to all his hard work. I’m thrilled that Matt’s going to get to play college ball because I know he will be successful."
Graney won the RHHS pitching award for this past season. Strickland said Graney really earned this honor.
"He was our go-to guy," Strickland said. "When we needed someone on the mound who could throw strikes, get us out of a tight spot and get us a win – Matt was our guy. He really put some serious effort into it and it paid off for him. It’s magical what he’s been able to put together – a great kid with a great attitude. And an absolute joy to coach."
Graney started playing tee ball in Charleston at age five, before moving to Richmond Hill in the third grade.
"When he was younger, he was dominant in soccer, baseball and basketball," his father Jim Graney said. "He narrowed it down to baseball out of his pure love for the sport."
His mother Cindy Graney said he out-hit his older brother in the batting cage at just 3-years-old.
"I remember, at that same age, we went to a River Dogs game in Charleston and looked over to see him mocking the third base coach signals," she said. "There were many signs throughout the years that have led up to this moment."
Even now, during that short break between high school and college, Graney is spending his time as a pitching coach to the up and coming Wildcat players, participating in the tune-up summer league.
"He’s in the dugout, working with the younger pitchers," said Strickland, who is the head coach of the summer Wildcats. "He’s like our summer pitching coach. He helps them with the mental aspect of pitching as well seeing how he’s been in that position. He’s been an incredible asset to our summer team."
This is the very first year of the baseball program at USCB.
Graney said he hopes to use his collegiate run as a link to the pros. As a back up, he is majoring in early childhood education to become a second grade teacher.