Posted Date: 03/20/2019
SAVOY -- Baseball manager Clay Wilson noticed something about senior Patrik McCauley long before he played any sport for Savoy.
"Evidence of his love of baseball showed in elementary school when I first met Patrik," said Wilson.
McCauley signed his letter of intent to play baseball for Ecclesia College, a four-year institution in Springdale, Ark., on Saturday, March 16, in a celebration held at the Bird's Nest coffee house and cafe in Savoy with friends, family, coaches and administrators present.
"They gave me the best offer and it's a great fit for me," said McCauley, who will vie for time as an outfielder for Ecclesia. "I hope to get to play.
"They can't guarantee me anything," he said, "but I will play the best I can and show I'll be the best option for them."
McCauley's time at Savoy High School has coincided with a resurgence in baseball for the Class 1A Cardinals, despite playing in districts with mostly 2A teams.
Savoy reached the Region II-1A quarterfinals last spring in its third-straight postseason after again claiming the District 11-2A top 1A seed to the playoffs. McCauley received an all-district honorable mention.
In 2017, the Cardinals made their first regional finals appearance since consecutive trips in 2000 and 2001, also in 1A, before losing to eventual-state-champion Abbott. McCauley made the all-district second team as a utility player.
A 15-year baseball playoffs absence ended in 2016 with a three-game bi-district series for Savoy, which via McCauley had its first college signing in the sport since those early 2000s teams. Terry Don Lewis equated the last Cardinal to do so, playing baseball at East Texas Baptist University following his graduation in 2003 from Savoy.
"(Patrik) is getting to continue on his next journey in life and we couldn't be more proud of him," said Wilson, who also serves as Savoy's athletic director and head football coach.
"It's definitely a big step for our program," he said. "It gives young kids here something to strive for.
"It shows small school kids that they can have an opportunity at the next level."
Note: Other high school athletic achievements for McCauley have included playing last month on the first Savoy boys basketball postseason team since 1984. Additionally, he has been a regional competition qualifier in cross country and track and field. He also has been an all-region and all-district first-team rusher for the football team which made the playoffs during three of his four seasons and contended for a spot during the other.