Brammer realizes dream as he signs with Rio Grande

Published 10:13 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Chesapeake Panthers senior baseball standout Johnathan Brammer signed a letter-of-intent to play for the University of Rio Grande RedStorm on Tuesday. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, mother Julie Brammer, Johnathan, brother Jayce Brammer and father Jeremy Brammer; standing left to right, grandmothers Janet Bricker and Anita Brammer. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)


CHESAPEAKE — A love for America’s past-time is helping Johnathan Brammer realize his dream involving that past-time.

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The Chesapeake Panthers’ senior baseball standout fulfilled his dream of playing college baseball after signing a letter-of-intent to play for the University of Rio Grande RedStorm on Tuesday.

Johnathan Brammer

Brammer said there was never any hesitation to what he wanted to do and where he was going to do it, which was to play baseball for Rio Grande.

“It’s just the place growing up that I wanted to go there. It’s close to home,” said Brammer.

Although he played some football for the Panthers, Brammer said baseball has always been his preferred sport.

“I’ve played ever since I could pick up a baseball,” he said. “I love both sports but I’m definitely better at baseball and it’s more my thing.”

Brammer has been the ace of the Panthers’ pitching staff and he plays third base when he’s not on the mound. He’s not certain how Rio Grande coach Brad Warnimont will utilize him.

“I’ll probably do pitching the most, but maybe a little bit of both,” said Brammer.

“Pitching is more of my thing. A lot of people up there do play duels (roles) from what I’ve seen. I’d say they’d probably use me at third base. That’s what I’ve played most of my life, but if they put me in the outfield, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Going from high school to college, Brammer will have to deal with the pitch clock.

“It’s different for whatever situation you’re in. Sometimes that will be stressful, but you have to look at the bright side of it and keep going,” said Brammer.

Most freshmen pitchers start their Rio Grande careers in the bullpen or on the jayvee team either as a starter or reliever. Brammer said he hasn’t had that discussion with Warnimont yet.

“We haven’t talked much about it, but I’d say the first year is probably jayvee. Only time will tell. Whatever they give me, I’ll just work my butt off and see what I can do.”

Panthers’ head coach Tommy Burcham said Warnimont and the RedStorm won’t have any problems with Brammer’s work ethic or attitude.

“He’s an awesome young man. He has a hard work ethic. He’s always reliable and dependable. At the college level, he’ll bring a grit and determination to achieve his goals and do the best to his abilities,” said Burcham.

“He’ll probably be a mid-reliever the first year or two, and be a reliever in the end. But with injuries at all levels, I could see him working his way up to a starting position.

Brammer actually referred to his work ethic when asked about his goals.

“Just hard work pays off,” said Brammer.

Signing early with the RedStorm is something that should help Brammer focus on his senior season.

“It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders. This has been a dream and now I can turn it into a reality. I want to make the best out of it,” he said.

Brammer plans to major in welding.