St. Augustine Prep junior Brian Furey played multiple sports growing up.

Even as a freshman, he played basketball and baseball for the Hermits. But as a sophomore, he decided to just focus on baseball.

It was a good choice.

Furey verbally committed last month to continue playing baseball at NCAA Division I United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The 17-year-old will sign a National Letter of Intent this fall as a senior.

Last season, the Midshipmen finished 38-16 (18-7 in the Patriot League) and advanced to the league tournament final.

“It is definitely an honor,” Furey said. “They are a great team and they play a competitive schedule. Also, I wanted this (to play at the D-I level) since I was on the tee-ball field. It really is a dream come true, and now all the work is coming into fruition.”

Last season, St. Augustine finished 26-4 and captured the sectional and state Non-Public A titles. Furey batted .333 with two RBIs in seven games for the Hermits during his sophomore campaign.

The University of Pennsylvania, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s University also showed interest in the catcher.

Furey, who wants to major in engineering, said after graduation there is a mandatory five-year service period. The Strathmere resident added he aspires to become a Navy SEAL.

“I visited several schools, but I feel that the Naval Academy was a better fit for me,” Furey said. “It is also an honor to serve and protect your country. I will receive a top-notch education, and it allows me to carry out my dream of playing D-I baseball.

Another reason for his commitment?

Furey said the baseball program at Navy was just like the team at St. Augustine — it had a strong brotherhood.

“These guys have a larger purpose. It is bigger than baseball,” Furey said. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity.”

Furey’s father, Joe, always told him to be a leader, not a follower.

That is the mindset he will take into the Naval Academy, on and off the diamond.

Furey made it a point to thank his parents, coaches at St. Augustine (head coach Mike Bylone, pitching coach Mike Ney and assistant coach Anthony Iaconelli), coaches at Performance Center in Pleasantville (Ed Charlton and Mike Adams) and Baseball U (coach John Wells).

“I want to show that I can play at the D-I level,” Furey said. “I see myself playing competitive there. I will work hard every day to make sure I stay competitive and make a difference.”

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