Fuller signs to play at Rio Grande

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 14, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — In the end, Rio Grande had everything Adam Fuller wanted.

After visiting several schools and weighing his options, the Fairland Dragons standout catcher signed Monday to play baseball at the University of Rio Grande.

Fuller selected Rio Grande after rejecting offers from Cumberland (Ky.) College and Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg, W.Va.,

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“It was a short drive, it was convenient and the money situation was very good,” Fuller said.

“I know a lot of the players and I love the facilities and I really like the coaches. I just really enjoyed the school and they have a good program. It’s a good school and I can get a good education.”

Fuller said that Redmen head coach Brad Warnimont couldn’t guarantee any playing time, but Fuller had a positive feeling after his visit.

“(The coaches) did say I had a really good chance of playing my freshman year. That was a really positive thing,” Fuller said.

“I’d really have to work for a position. Some of their catchers were ineligible last year. They’ve never had a freshman catcher. They’ve always had JUCO (junior college transfer) catchers. I was looking for a school where I could get quality playing time my freshman year.”

To get playing time, Fuller knows he will have to improve every aspect of his game.

“I just need to continue working hard and dedicate myself to playing baseball and getting good grades. The team gets up at 5 o’clock in morning to lift and I did that in high school,” Fuller said.

“I just need to stay in the cage and better my hitting. I need to increase my arm strength and work on my feet. I need to keep myself flexible and learn from the older players.”

A four-year starter for the Dragons, Fuller helped the team win three Ohio Valley Conference championships. He was All-OVC three times and named to the coaches’ all-district squad twice.

Fuller hit .382 for his career with 16 home runs and 102 runs batted in. His best season was two years ago when he hit .493 with six home runs and drove in 37 runs. As one of only two returning starters this past season, Fuller batted .396 with four HRs and 31 RBIs.

“He was a good, solid catcher all four years. He got better each year. He wasn’t satisfied with his catching. He worked at it and got better,” Fairland coach Roger Snyder said.

“The big thing we’ll miss is his leadership. He tried to help others around him. When he had time in practice, he worked with the younger catchers to get them ready for next year.”

Adam, who has narrowed his academic major choices to physical therapy, sports management or veterinary school, is the son of Kevin and Julie Fuller of Proctorville.