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TAMPA—Three Jefferson’s hardest swingers on the diamond signed national letters of intent to play in north, central and south Florida.
And two of them found the wave of emotions that induced a trip down memory lane hard to put into words.
Pitcher and first baseman Jimmy Herget, a University of South Florida commit who had a .383 batting average last year to complement a 1.69 ERA, stood up to speak first.
“Everything came to me at once, and I had told my dad I wasn’t going to cry,” said Herget, who picked USF in large part so he could stay close to his family. “Right when I stood up and saw them, though, everything slid downhill.”
Softball player Kalyn Cenal, who hit .585 last season and signed with the University of Central Florida, was next. After wiping away a few tears of her own, she pointed to a memory dating back to middle school.
“My first home run, that’s my best memory,” she said. “I was, like, 12, it was to center field. I remember the feeling, the bal hitting the bat, boom it just popped off.”
And while he didn’t shed any tears (“I kind of felt bad about that,” he said with a laugh), infielder and pitcher Corbin Olmstead, a .366 hitter last year and University of North Florida signee, had a smile that didn’t leave his face as he thanked his family, especially his grandma, for helping him reach this point.
“My grandmother, since I was born, has been like my third parent,” Olmstead said of Sandra Sanchez, who works in for the school’s data processing department. “She looked after me when my parents couldn’t. I used to come to Jefferson over the summers with her and sleep under her desk when I was younger, 4 or 5. I couldn’t live without her.”
Olmstead, now behind the desk instead of under it, wrapped up the ceremony with his signature.