|Broumley signs to play baseball close to home|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Aug. 8, 2006 - For Wildcat graduating senior Jake Broumley, playing college baseball close to home is a dream come true.
Broumley will play baseball for the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots, an American Southwest Conference East Division member, this fall.
"I went down there and I wanted to tryout and see what one was like. I tried out and ended up making the team and decided to go there," Broumley said. "The only junior colleges that were looking at me were 4-to-6 hours away and my parents didn't like that a lot because they wouldn't be able to see me play."
Broumley took tapes of his two best pitching performances of the year to the tryout, but head coach James Vilade did not want to see either tape.
"During tryouts, I brought the tapes of the North Lamar (a three-hitter) and the Justin Northwest game (a one-hitter) and when I pitched to the batters, coach told me that he didn't even want to see the tapes," he said. "I was about to go to Cisco and try out, and he told me that they would take you but you wouldn't want to go there and play."
He said once he saw UT-Tyler's campus and the facilities at the baseball complex, that it was an opportunity that he couldn't pass up for his college education.
"They have a pretty good record in baseball and it only looks like it is going to get better. It looks like a good place to go and play baseball, and my cousin graduated from UT-Tyler so they have a good education there as well," he said. "They have only had a baseball team for three years and they have already won their conference and last year got second place by only one game."
With the UT-Tyler ballpark only two years old, Broumley said that was another advantage to choosing the Patriots over another team.
"The baseball field is brand new - only two years old - and they have bathrooms in the dugout and the grass is great and the field plays great," Broumley said. "The only problem is it is kind of in a hole and early in the morning it is hot, and it has a really nice scoreboard out there."
He said getting to meet Coach Vilade and talking with him about baseball helped Broumley in knowing where the program is headed and what role he can have on the team.
"I talked to him and he is very into baseball and he basically knows what there is to know about baseball. He seems like he is one of the most fair coaches out there. He doesn't play favorites and will do what it takes to win," he said.
"He told me that in the fall I may have a chance to start at pitcher. I don't expect to start or play as much as a freshman ,and I know that going into a four-year university."
Playing on the university level instead of going to a junior college has Broumley nervous knowing the talent of the guys ahead of him on the team.
"It is going to be a change and I will be a 19-year old kid playing against and with 23-to-24-year-old players," he said. "It will be a big change and probably hard at first, but I will get through it and work hard at it."