By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (December 4, 2015) — Heritage High School senior Brandon Keiper has made commitment to continue his baseball career at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise starting in the 2016-2017 school year.
“[Committing] feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” the 6-foot-2 Keiper said. “Now I can just focus on making myself better and also get ready for the upcoming spring season.”
With Keiper signing his National Letter of Intent on November 11, he chose UVA-Wise for a couple of reasons including the four guys he knows are there or will be there when he gets there in 2016: Tuscarora senior Noah Lacy, Stone Bridge graduate Justin Zaferakis (2015) and Woodgrove graduate Matt Wright (2014).
“I chose UVA-Wise because it is a school that I feel I could best perform at academically and athletically,” Keiper said. “The whole campus has a very strong family feel as well as the baseball team. It also helps to know guys that are going to be at UVA-Wise with me.”
The Division II Highland Cavaliers are coached by Hank Banner, who has coached this team for over 20 years. Banner has helped the Cavaliers to at least 20 wins — including two seasons with 30 wins — in six of the last nine seasons.
“I think I will add a hard work ethic, leadership, and versatility to the team,” said Keiper who will play either third or first base at UVA-Wise.
Keiper mentioned that baseball was something he fell in love with when he first picked up a bat in his backyard with his dad when he was 3-years-old.
“The thing that keeps me motivated to keep playing is my passion for the game,” said Keiper who plays his travel ball for Diamond Elite. “[Also] just everything about the game from my teammates to how humbling the game of baseball is.”
Heritage is coming off a season in which they finished 8-13, which ended with a loss to Dominion, 2-0, in a Conference 21 quarterfinal. This year the Pride will look to compete in the newly-formed Conference 21B with a lot of players from the 2015 team returning, including Keiper.
“My expectations for Heritage this year are very high. I think we are going to be a very good team. We are returning seven of nine starters from last year,” Keiper said. “A lot of the younger guys last year got great experience from playing as sophomores, and I think that it will help us a lot to have so many guys with so much varsity experience.”