Dawson Chester signs letter of intent to play baseball at ASU
Pocahontas Redskin senior quarterback Dawson Chester made baseball news this past week when he signed a national letter-of-intent to play collegiate baseball for Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro.
Chester, who pitched and played shortstop and third base for the Redskins signed last Thursday (Nov. 12), which was the first day on the national signing period. He signed at Pocahontas High School with his parents, coaches and teammates in attendance.
“It was always a desire for me to sign with ASU,” Chester said. “I grew up watching them and always dreamed of playing for them.” Chester said the coaching staff at ASU started showing interest in him during his sophomore year.
Chester, played both baseball and football for the Redskins, and his coaches were not surprised that ASU showed interest, and signed the star athlete.
“I am not surprised at all that he was recruited D1,” Redskin baseball coach Dustin Eddington said. “Baseball recruiting has drastically changed over the years, his recruiting began early. Multiple schools offered and multiple others were interested. I think it is awesome that he got the opportunity to go where he wanted.”
According to his coaches, one of his main strengths is his leadership capabilities, which exhibit themselves on and off the field.
“A quarterback is a leader on the football field just like a shortstop is on the baseball field,” Coach Eddington continued. “I told him early in his high school career that people will follow him whether he wants it or not. He’s been a vital part of the leadership since he started in the 9th grade.”
That leadership is evident on the gridiron as well. “Intangibles go a long way in any sport, Pocahontas Football Coach Charles Baty said earlier this week. “Dawson is a great leader and a great teammate, he makes players better. He has shown tremendous leadership as long as I have known him, he is one of the best I have ever coached.”
Chester thanked Coach Baty and Coach Eddington for making him a better player. “They have always pushed me to be the best player I could be,” Chester said. “They always have had my back through everything. I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done for me.”
While he played the infield and pitched for the Redskins, it appears he will be an infielder for the Red Wolves.
“Dawson is an extremely athletic middle infielder who brings a lot to the table,” ASU Baseballl recruiting coordinator Rick Guarno said. “He can really run and is strong enough to be an extra base threat at the plate. He will compete to play in the middle of the diamond early in his career.”
That is fine with Dawson, he really doesn’t care where he plays.
“I think I’ll play in the middle infield or in the outfield for Coach Raffo,” Chester said, “but I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed that much yet. I’ll play wherever he asks me to.”
Wherever he plays, Coach Eddington thinks he will be a success at ASU. “His competitiveness in his greatest strength,” Coach Eddington said, “h wants to be the best at anything he does.”
While Dawson Chester’s future may be set with the signing to play baseball at ASU, there is still the present to take care of. That means a football playoff game this week against Lamar, and one more baseball season for the Redskins.