Published on 3/6/2013
By Barbara Gengler
For the Times
Andrews High School senior Patrick Ward signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of South Carolina-Sumter on Tuesday.
"I decided on USC because I really want to go to Carolina but my grades were not quite good enough," Ward said. "So I looked at USC-Sumter and found they have a lot of work going on with the arm and other stuff."
Ward said Sumter offered him an athletic scholarship in which he will play baseball for them and receive funds towards classes.
"I've played baseball all my life, ever since I was a little boy," said Ward, who pitches and plays first base for the Yellow Jackets. "It means a lot to me, that I can continue to play ball. I don't have to stop and I can go to college to play."
His parents, Tami and Anthony, were on hand for the signing as was his sister, Madison. The Yellow Jackets' softball and baseball teams also came out to support Ward, as did baseball coach Roland Clemons.
According to his parents, Ward was impressed by the class size and the coaches during his visits to Sumter. They expect him to pitcher for the Fire Ants.
Ward, who turned 18 on Oct. 5, is thinking of eventually becoming a police officer, but said "we'll see where it goes."