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Minden High senior Francis signs with Pilots

Tuesday was quite a day for Minden High senior Trace Francis.

First, he got to enjoy his last day of high school with the class of 2016. Then, he signed a college scholarship to continue his baseball career at Louisiana State University of Shreveport.

Francis, the son of Minden High baseball head coach Dean Francis, was excited about the prospects of continuing his career as a Pilot.

“I’m just happy to have this opportunity to play at the next level,” Trace Francis said. “I’m just glad somebody was willing to give me the opportunity.”

Francis played third base and pitcher for the Crimson Tide during his career, but will retire his infielder’s glove for a permanent spot on the mound.

It’s a move the power right-hander is excited about.

“When I talked to coach Brent Lavallee he said the main thing he was excited about was my breaking pitch,” Francis said. “He said he can’t teach the breaking pitch. That’s just something that’s in your DNA. He knows my velocity isn’t where it needs to be for me to be a dominant college pitcher, but he said he can get me there. I like what he had to say there.”

Francis will have the opportunity to continue his career close to home for a premier NAIA program where friends and family can come watch him play, something he doesn’t take for granted.

“It’s a lot better than going off,” Francis said. “I know a lot of people think the college experience is about going off, and I will be living in Shreveport, but it’s better to be close in case you need to come home and go to church or get some of grandma’s cooking.”

Grandma’s cooking will never be far away, and neither will Francis’s biggest fan.

“There’s a lot of excitement on our part as parents,” Dean Francis said. “There’s a lot of time and money put in to get to this stage and it’s just a blessing for him to be able to go and continue his career close by at a good school with good coaches.”

Francis has one more game to play before he moves to the college ranks, the LHSCA All-Star Game in Denham Springs, May 20-21 at North Park.

Blake Branch

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