BRYAN -- The Brazos Valley Bombers announced today the signing of three catchers for the 2009 season. John Cannon, Casey Dykes, and John Hale will provide the team with stability as they prepare for the upcoming season.
As the grueling schedule took its toll last summer, the Bombers often struggled to have more than one catcher in uniform during the second half of the season. This time around, however, Brazos Valley hopes to have more depth and flexibility each time Head Coach Brent Alumbaugh fills out his lineup card.
Although the 2009 season will mark the first time in Bombers history in which Kip Masuda will not handle the duties behind the plate, the addition of the threesome provides a more positive outlook than ever.
As a freshman this season, Cannon has made an immediate impact for the Houston Cougars, starting 10 of their 13 games. He is tied for fourth on the team with five RBI and leads with 74 putouts and has thrown out seven base runners. Playing at Hutto High School in the Austin area, Cannon was a four-time All-District selection, as well as a 2008 All-State Selection. At 6-feet and 180 pounds, the right-handed catcher has shown great power to the gaps and great defensive ability early on in his college career.
Dykes joins the Bombers as an experienced veteran after playing under Coach Alumbaugh the past four years at Franklin High School in Tennessee. He posted a career .341 batting average with 141 RBI while leading his team to two District Championships and Regional Titles, as well as three consecutive State Tournament appearances. Dykes exhibits unusual speed for a catcher, having set the Franklin High School record for career stolen bases. He also put his versatility on display as he was named an All-State linebacker in football his senior season. As a freshman this season at Western Kentucky, he is hitting .250 in the early going of the season.
Although he will not be in uniform this season for Sam Houston State after transferring from Rice, Hale looks to make immediate contributions for the Bombers this season and the Bearcats in the coming years. Although Hale hit .235 in 17 games his freshman season at Rice, he chose to move on to Sam Houston State, where he will be able to receive more playing time in the coming years. The stocky 5’9” catcher was a first team All-State selection at Lamar High School in Houston his senior season and is known by coaches for his hard work ethic and attention to detail.
All three catchers figure to play an important role in the Bombers’ success this upcoming season as the team tries to dethrone the champion McKinney Marshals and take home the Texas Collegiate League trophy.