Mainland Regional High School senior Tom Bradway had a little help from a former Mustang graduate when it came to deciding where he would attend college.
The 18-year-old has been talking with family friend and Lafayette College assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ian Law since the beginning of his junior year.
Between the information from Law and the instant chemistry with the program, Bradway decided to sign a letter of intent with Lafayette College on Saturday and will play baseball for the Leopards in the 2013 season.
“The entire coaching staff, Ian included, made me feel very comfortable and no matter how many other schools I looked at, it was pretty obvious they were the best choice,” Bradway said. “Having Ian there will only make it more enjoyable to play there. ”
The Linwood resident finally took his official visit to Lafayette in Easton, Pa., a few months ago and knew right away it was the perfect fit for him.
“I had some information on the school before I visited and I always knew how great it was,” Bradway said. “I have so much respect for the school and I couldn’t go wrong there academically or athletically, and I’ve always been school first and sports second and since it has both, it was a total package for me.”
Bradway, a Press All-Star honorable-mention recipient, was content on playing at a school in the Patriot League due to its high standards academically and athletically. He was also looking at Lehigh University and Bucknell University.
“I was fortunate to have a choice and for me Lafayette stood out above the other two,” Bradway said. “I loved the feel of the campus and the attitude of the team. The coaching staff is second to none, the guys made me feel welcomed and I felt the fit when I was there.”
The outfielder had a .351 batting average with three doubles, two triples, 15 runs scored and 11 RBIs last season for the Mustangs.
“In any sport, Tom is the kind of player any coach would love to have,” Mainland baseball coach Billy Kern said. “He is a leader, he comes to practice and works hard every day and sets a great example for the team.”
The Leopards finished 14-37-1 and reached the Patriot League Tournament semifinals last season but fell to the No. 1 seed, Army 8-7 and 6-3.
Bradway said the baseball program at Lafayette has the right mentality in order to strive.
“In my eyes they have been constantly making steps in the right direction,” said Bradway. “The biggest selling point to me was the atmosphere. They had a team aspect, the coaches were very hands on and no matter what grade or age, everyone was working together as a team towards a common goal, which is something I’ve always been very big on.”
Although Bradway played football in high school, he is looking forward to solely focusing on the sport he loves the most.
“I gave a lot of thought into doing both, and as much as I love football, I’m incredibly excited to reach my full potential as a baseball player and becoming the best player I can possibly be,” said Bradway. “It has always been my first love.”
Bradway also plans on spending a lot of time focusing on his academics as well, where he hopes to study business or economics at Lafayette.
“I’m happy to attend a school where I can get a good education and play the game I love at the same time,” Bradway said. “The atmosphere they are trying to create is what I was really drawn to the most. Coach (Joe) Kinney has been very loyal to me and I really appreciate that. It was a perfect fit for me and my family felt the same way.”
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