DEXTER -- Continuing a long line of Dexter players to move on to the next level, Bearcats' senior Bryn Hester has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout.
"The most important thing is getting a college education," Hester said of signing. "Through sports I figured I'd get the best opportunity and (College of the Ozarks) offered me the best opportunity.
"I'm looking forward to playing there."
Known as the Bobcats, College of the Ozarks competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as part of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC). So far this year the Bobcats' baseball team stands at 14-28 overall and 7-9 in the six team conference.
"Their program, they're rebuilding it pretty much," Hester said. "Everything looks good. The coach (Jason Reinsch) is new, it's his second year, and he's trying to turn things around.
"They've had a lot of losses just by one run this year and that's something cool to go in to, knowing you can maybe make a difference."
Hester added he expects to continue playing third base, his regular position in high school, when he joins the Bobcats.
"(Reinsch) said he like me best at third and said that being a switch hitter I'd be able to contribute a little bit better in the power area maybe as I grow older," said Hester. "But he said he's not looking for power numbers at first, just to get in there, get them started and contribute."
Midway through his senior season season, Hester has helped guide the Bearcats to a 7-6 record while batting .273 with a .500 on-base percentage. He's collected a double, triple and 12 walks on the season while only striking out once.
"We're awfully proud of Bryn," Dexter coach Brian Becker said. "He's put in a lot of hard work to get to where he is today and he's getting the opportunity to play baseball at the next level and that's just part of what we try to do here.
"Right now we have about five kids playing college baseball and I know that Bryn will go over there and be an asset to that team."
Added Becker, "Bryn's work ethic is outstanding so that may give him a leg up on the other kids that are attending College of the Ozarks. I think as smart as he is and his work ethic, that's going to take him a long way in college baseball."
Though undecided, Hester said he's considering becoming a nurse practitioner or pursuing something in the medical field while at College of the Ozarks.