PERRY - Every Thursday, the 13WMAZ Sports team turns their spotlight on a central Georgia student-athlete who shines on and off of their field of play. This week, meet a baseball player who is striking batters out on the diamond and hitting home runs in the classroom. His name is Cole Brannen and he is our Athlete of the Week.
Brannen has been a shining star on the Westfield varsity baseball team since the 8th grade. He is now a senior for the Hornets, and his hard work over years is beginning to pay off. Brannen has already signed to become a student-athlete at Georgia Southern, but a shot at the pros first is a big possibility.
Coach Fitzpatrick: "He's one of those guys that don't come around very often," Westfield head coach Rob Fitzpatrick said. "I was fortunate to have him all through middle school and high school (and) I knew he was going to be something special."
Brannen is batting .347 with an on base percentage over .500... but he's more focused on finishing strong this season than what's coming next.
"Baseball is a sport you get to play everyday, so if you screw up you get to come back and work on it the next day, constantly improve and work on it everyday," Brannen said.
Brannen says he attacks the classroom like he does the batting cages: with focus and commitment.
"You've always got to stay on top of grades in the classroom, miss maybe the first 15 minutes of practice then come out here and do what you've got to do," Brannen said.
With the season soon coming to a close, Brannen says his goal is always to finish on top no matter what and he's grateful for the friendships he's made along the way.
"I love everyone of them," Brannen said. "This is a great team. I've played varsity for five years, (I've) got both of my brothers playing with me and it's been the best team I've been a part of."
"On campus, off campus, in the classroom and on the field, he's an all around good guy and he leads by example and there's great thing about to happen for Cole Brannen," Fitzpatrick said.
Brannen and the Hornets take the field Saturday in Augusta for a double-header against Westminster.
© 2017 WMAZ-TV