North Lenoir's Grant, Howard commit to schools for baseball
North Lenoir baseball coach Jackson Massey talks to a crowd about Brendon Grant (left) and Peyton Howard Wednesday at the school. Grant will play at Chowan next season while Howard is heading to William Peace. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
LA GRANGE | A pair of schools will be getting a pair of Hawks next year.
North Lenoir’s Brendon Grant and Peyton Howard signed their commitment letters Wednesday at the school with their final high school baseball seasons mere months away. Grant will be heading to Chowan and Howard will enroll at William Peace as both now focus on trying to sustain high school success.
Grant and Howard have been instrumental for the Hawks over the past two seasons, as the team went 41-14, garnered a pair of Eastern Carolina Conference championships and a 2018 Eastern Regionals appearance.
Hawks coach Jackson Massey, who will be heading into his third year with the program, said the two have been wonderful for the team and will be strong again in 2019.
“They work really hard, which is why they’re in this position now,” Massey said. “They played big roles for us last season and this year we’ll lean on them a little more as we hope to continue this success. With them committing to the collegiate level, I know they’ll work even harder and it means a lot for what they’ve done for North Lenoir — they’ve made my job that much easier.
“We’ll have to play with a lot of consistency (next season). We’ll have a different team — we may not be a huge power-hitting group or power through batters with 12 strikeouts a game — but we’ll look to have strong defensive efforts and get guys on base. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and February, but they’re up for the challenge.”
Howard will pitch for William Peace and said he appreciated the proximity of the school, which helped sway his decision.
“I liked the location because it was so close to N.C. State,” Howard said. “I really liked the head coach and it seems like a good program. I really appreciated North Lenoir (getting me here), because they helped me develop as a player and a person. My teammates were good and they helped me get better.”
Grant is projected to be a catcher at Chowan and said it was a great fit overall.
“I really liked the coaches and the atmosphere,” Grant said. “They’re also going into the Conference Carolinas Conference, so there will be better competition too. I’m thankful for North Lenoir because the coaches kept pushing us, especially in the weight room, and to never give up.”