Harding signs with Lynchburg

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Jackson Harding formally committed to play NCAA Division III college baseball for Lynchburg College during a signing ceremony held Thursday at Randolph-Henry High School.

The standout Statesman will be part of the first freshman class at the school under its new name — University of Lynchburg — which it will adopt in the 2018-19 academic year.

Both sets of his grandparents, aunts and uncles, his parents and his brother and sister, friends, teammates and coaches were on hand Thursday to see him take the next step in his baseball and academic career.

“I’ve worked so hard my whole life on my craft, being baseball and everything, that it’s just shown me that my hard work paid off,” Harding said of his signing.

During the college selection process, he was choosing primarily between three schools — Eastern Mennonite University, Roanoke College and Lynchburg.

Revealing what made him choose the Hornets, Harding said, “I love their coaches and their coaching staff. The way that they treated me and just handled my visit when I went up there and just the way they hold their program, the way they do things, the way they coach, I really think I can fit in, because they’re a hardworking staff, and I really appreciate that.”

He said that the coaches have told him he will play second base, more than likely.

“I’ll play second base, and I’ll have a chance to compete for a spot my freshman year,” he said.

Thinking of all who helped him reach this point, he said, “I’d especially like to thank my parents for all the support and everything with taking me to these travel tournaments and coming to all my high school games and just helping me get better. And my brother and my dad have helped me and we’ve worked for a long, long time in the batting cages and the weight room and everything like that. So, I’d like to give a ‘big thank you’ to my dad, my brother and my coaches along the way.”

In addition to having played a little more than a year of varsity baseball for the Statesmen, Harding has also played travel ball for Rise Baseball, and he played recreational ball when he was young, coached by his father, Mark Harding, up until he was 10.

The elder Harding said that to see his son sign “was definitely a very proud moment. To see my son come through the different stages of his life and get to this point was very exciting for us.”

Harding said he plans to major in business management at Lynchburg.

Barmoy, who has helped develop Harding as a player, expressed excitement at seeing him advance athletically and academically.