May 2, 2007 Edition

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WRHS senior Ryan Weir (seated, center) has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Williams Baptist College. With him (seated) are his parents, Allen and Martha Weir, and younger brother, Will. Also witnessing the signing are (standing, from left): WRHS coaches Jason Ward and Larry Treadway, WBC assistant baseball coach Frank Lee and WRHS baseball coach Derek Bramlett.

Weir to play Williams baseball

John Bland

From their earliest Little League days, many young boys dream of playing baseball on a college or professional level. For Walnut Ridge graduating senior Ryan Weir that dream has come true. He signed last Wednesday his intent to play baseball for the Williams Baptist College Eagles.

By signing on, Weir will be a scholarship athlete on the Williams team.

"I'm hoping I can do good and am excited about playing close to home and having friends and family watching," Weir said. He is expected to be an outfielder and utility player at Williams.

"We're excited to be able to sign a kid from right in our backyard especially one with the baseball skills he possesses," said Frank Lee, assistant baseball coach at Williams.

"We project him as an outfielder, but it's obvious he has the capability of playing numerous positions," Lee added. Weir played shortstop his sophomore and junior years and has played catcher and pitcher his senior year.

"He's a good kid with a lot of character," said Derek Bramlett, his WRHS baseball coach.

When this season began, the team was lacking a catcher, Bramlett said. "I asked him to play catcher. He said, 'Sure, whatever the team needs.'"

His senior season was interrupted for three weeks after he injured his shoulder while diving into second base. "He's handled the adversity well," said Bramlett. "He's stayed positive in the dugout and been 100 percent behind everybody."

"I really think Williams Baptist is getting a heck of a player with a lot of potential still unreached."

Although Weir has been limited since his injury, he has still been able to bat as designated hitter during the team's efforts in the year-end tournaments. The team has qualified for the state tournament and was scheduled to play Tuesday night for the championship of the 2A North Region in the finals with Tuckerman.

Weir will have surgery on his shoulder, specifically his labrum, after the season ends.

During his high school baseball career, Weir has had 101 hits, including 30 doubles, three triples and 17 homeruns, for a total of 50 extra base hits. He had a batting average of .351 and a total of 119 runs.

Weir's baseball honors for the 2006 season include the following: All-Conference, Best Under the Sun, Extra Innings Top 88 Summer classic participant and the Bobcat baseball offensive award.

Football is Weir's other favored sport. In that sport, he was named All-Conference for the last two years. As a senior, he rushed for 1,107 yards, scored 10 touchdowns and made 12 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. He led his team in tackles with 90.

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