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Lucas Ballard pens NLI to play baseball at Truett McConnell
Lucas Ballard
Lucas Ballard signed to Truett McConnell during a signing ceremony in the Rams' auditorium on May 10. - photo by Garrett Pitts

Newton senior Lucas Ballard signed his national letter of intent May 10 to play baseball at Truett McConnell.

The senior was part of a signing ceremony held in the Rams gym. 

Following the signing, Ballard spoke about his emotions after he put pen to paper.

‘I was nervous, very very nervous,” Ballard said. 

For Ballard, location and faith were two reasons why Truett McConnell was the right fit.

“The mountains, I love the mountains,” Ballard said. “It’s a Christian school, so I think it will help me in my spiritual life.”

Ballard sees himself as a two-way player for the Bears, playing pitcher and catcher.

All in all, Ballard feels Truett McConell is getting a player dedicated to bettering his game.

“They are getting a very hard worker,” Ballard said. “Someone that wants to perfect their craft. Someone that wants to give their all and be the best.”

As a senior, Ballard batted .321 with a .974 on-base percentage. He also led the team in runs batted in (20) and doubles (11).

Ballard was named Second Team All-Region for Region 4-AAAAAAA.

Though he just wrapped up his senior year, Ballard references a time in his freshman season as his most memorable moment.

“Freshman year when we played Parkview, when I hit a home run as a freshman there,” Ballard said. “When I got back to the dugout, they were going absolutely insane. It was an unreal experience.”

The thing Ballard will remember the most about his Newton seasons comes from the camaraderie within the team.

“The bond that we had,” Ballard said. “The bond we had was crazy. Everyone liked each other, no one hated each other. When someone was acting up, everyone would get on them. The ability to put people in their place and show them what they need to work on and do and not do was good.”