— By GREG WEBB
Although their respective approaches to playing at the next level varied, senior student-athletes Tony Rodriguez and Andy Swain both achieved the same goals, recently.
The two former members of the Roo baseball team will both be taking their scholastic and athletic talents to college in the fall. Swain will pack up books, cleats and his glove and head to Louisiana Tech, while Rodriguez will pursue further education and athletic endeavors at Clarendon College.
Their recruiting process took similar paths for the two.
“I went to one of Louisiana Tech’s prospect camps and had a really good tryout,” Swain said. “After I got my academic scholarship lined out, to pay for tuition and all that, they contacted me and said they would really like me to join the team.
“I had a couple of junior college offers and a Division II contact, but I was really excited about Louisiana Tech, and it was kind of an instant connect for me.”
Rodriguez got noticed during the course of playing for the Roos and though the communication was spotty at first, Clarendon was persistent.
“The Clarendon coaches came to some games to watch me play this year, especially during the playoffs,” Rodriguez said. “Coach Mac (Clarendon head coach Devin McIntosh), after trying to phone me a few times, finally texted me, and I told him I was still undecided.
“He asked me to come out for a tryout and offered me a full scholarship on the spot. I had a couple of other schools that I was considering, but I was really happy about the offer, so I decided it was time to go to college, and play some ball.”
The approach, and subsequent decisions for Andy and Tony regarding 4-year versus 2-year schools were in keeping with their respective plans.