STILLWATER — College is supposed to be a time of indepencence — a chance to break away from the comforts of home, to get out and see the world.
But there’s something to be said about those comforts — mom’s home cooking, dad’s advice or the familiar faces of friends, equine or otherwise.
Perhaps that’s what made the five signings Wednesday in the Pioneer Fieldhouse so special — it just had that family atmosphere that you wouldn’t get at a big unversity far from home.
“Anybody that’s a Pioneer knows that this is a special place,” former Stillwater baseball coach Tony Holt said. “I think anybody that’s been around for any length of time will tell you that Stillwater High School is a special place and Stillwater is a special town. In a lot of ways, we take a lot of pride in the type of kids we put out here in Stillwater schools and in our athletic programs. ... It’s a great place to grow up and a great place to be at.”
In fact, the love for Stillwater runs so deep that three athletes — Jon Littell, Carson Teel and Chandler Rogers — will make the short trip down Duck to continue their careers.
Littell and Teel both signed national letters of intent to play college baseball for Stillwater graduate Josh Holliday at Oklahoma State, joining Corey Hassel as the third former Pioneer to play for Holliday.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Teel said. “Growing up, you always want to stay where you’re closest to. Going to OSU has always been a dream, and it’s come true now. I just can’t wait for what’s ahead of me.”
“(Playing close to home) definitely played a factor,” Littell said. “I wanted my parents to be able to see me play, along with all my friends and family and the coaches that I’ve shared this experience with.”