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December 16, 2012
There are many different reasons why a player chooses one school over another. Greenbrier Christian shortstop Robbie Lathrop, decided to stay close to home and sign with Old Dominion University. The opportunity to have his love ones watch him play was too good to pass up.
"Old Dominion is close to home and my family could come and watch me play," Lathrop said. "They (ODU) will also be joining Conference USA for the 2013 and that was a big factor in my decision. I have always wanted to play at the highest level that I could."
Besides being close to home, Lathrop likes the other intangibles ODU had to offer. He also drew interest from Maryland, Appalachian State, Randolph Macon and Ferrum. Ultimately, Old Dominion offered the best opportunity to meet his next level goals.
"I like the coaching staff," Lathrop told Virginiapreps.Com. "Coach Finwood has been around the game for a while and he and Coach Nonemaker really know the game of baseball. They have made me feel at home already."
Last year at Greenbrier Christian, Lathrop helped the Gators win the TCIS tournament championship and helped them reached the State semi-finals. A shortstop in high school, Lathrop says he's not sure what position he will play when he becomes a Monarch.
"They see me competing at second base and possibly third," Lathrop said, "but I'm ready to help the team out anyway I can...maybe a utility player with even some time on the corner outfield positions."
For his senior year, Lathop hopes to improve in all areas of his game while winning a VISAA State championship. He believes his time playing for the EvoShield Canes helped him to advance his overall skills.
"Playing for the Canes has made my game better at the high school level... made me more relaxed,' Lathrop explained. "The Canes have really helped prepare me for playing college baseball. With the Canes you always get the best pitching and we always play the best teams on the east coast. The caliber of player that I expect to see at ODU."
He added, "I have played for the Evoshield Canes for the past three years coached by Jeff Petty and John Batchelor. During this time I have been surrounded by some of the best coaches in the state (Coach Dave Campbell, Coach Willoughby, Coach Lowery (Cosby H.S.) and Coach Conner (Powhattan H.S.) and some great ballplayers. When you play for these type of coaches and along with some very very good ball players...you can't help but elevate your own game."
Staff writer Will Garlick covers high school sports for VirginiaPreps. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook