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Big day for Burgett

In spring 2016, Bevill State Community College announced the return of its athletic programs, following a five-year hiatus after the closure of all programs in 2011. With a scholarship signing at Red Bay High School Monday, a local student-athlete will be part of the rebuilding at Bevill.

Landen Burgett impressed the coaching staff during a workout at Bevill State, and he will continue his baseball career there.

“He’s a left-handed pitcher, and we’re looking for quality left-handed arms,” explained Head Coach Joey May. May brings quality experience to the fledgling baseball program, having served as its coach from 2000-2011. “We’re rebuilding, so we’re recruiting right now, and we’ve put together a really good recruitment class so far. Landen is one of those guys we have high hopes for, and we think he’s going to be great.

“We’re really excited to have him.”

The prospect of getting in on the ground floor of a program was part of the attraction for Burgett.

“I’m just really excited to help them out, and I know they’re going to make me better,” Burgett said. “I’m just excited to be with them.”

Coach Richard Maggerise said Burgett is his fourth student athlete to receive a college offer in two years, which says big things about baseball at Red Bay High School. “Even at a younger age, you could see the potential he had going forward,” Maggerise said. “We took him down to Bevill State, and he had a phenomenal workout for them. He had other offers, but he decided to go with Bevill State.”

It was a doubly-proud day for Maggerise, who is Burgett’s brother-in-law, in addition to being his coach. “I never actually told a college coach he was related to me because I wanted everything he did, I wanted to make sure he could do it on his own,” Maggerise said. “I love the kid to death, and to see him get to go on to the next level is unbelievable.”

May cited Burgett’s stature and velocity as additional key strengths. Maggerise described him as “phenomenal.”

“He’s more than just a thrower. When he gets up on the mound, he has an intent in mind, and he goes out there and tries to execute. He’s a phenomenal baseball player,” Maggerise said. “It’s his understanding of the game and how it develops … He knows how to pitch.”

Burgett’s parents, Vicki and Shawn Burgett, said they are excited and think Bevill will be a great school for their son. “It’s something we have always hoped for him, to play in college,” Vicki said. “We’re proud of him. His hard work paid off.”