(Dec. 12, 2014) Stephen Decatur standout shortstop Justin Meekins celebrated his decision to play baseball for the NCAA Division I University of Maryland during a signing at the high school on Nov. 20.Meekins, 18, also played quarterback for Decatur’s football team and travels with the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox club baseball team. He has been playing baseball since he was 4 years old and grew up playing alongside his Decatur teammate, Grant Donahue. Donahue officially announced he will play for University of Virginia on Nov. 20, as well.
Meekins said he was very excited to officially commit to the University of Maryland on a partial athletic scholarship this past May.
“I choose the University of Maryland because it’s in my home state and I have a good opportunity to be a starter early on in college,” Meekins said.
During a visit, Meekins became fond of the big campus and atmosphere, in addition to enjoying a football game he attended. He stayed with a few baseball players and said they took good care of him.
In college, he plans on majoring in special education.
“I think it’s important to help others who do not have the same opportunity to do what I can,” he said.
His college goals are to earn a degree and graduate. He wants to be a vital part of the baseball team and win a national championship. After college, he hopes to get a teaching job and coach baseball.
Meekins is a few months away from playing his final season for Decatur. His goals for the season are to win Bayside, regional and state championships. He wants to be named Bayside South’s Player of the Year for the second year and said defeating Decatur’s rival Parkside twice is important to his season.
“Out of every 100 baseball players, only four go on to play any type of college ball. I’ve been coaching at Stephen Decatur for 13 years and we’ve only had three signings,” SDHS baseball Coach Rich Ferro said. “To be having two in one year [Meekins and Donahue], that is unheard of honestly, especially for them to be attending Division I schools like this.”
The 18 year-old has a list of honors including being a starter on Decatur’s baseball team since his freshman year, Bayside South’s Player of the Year and being named to team Maryland’s roster in 2014. In addition, Meekins has made the preseason all-state team the past two years.
“Justin will be competing for an infield spot at the University of Maryland. He will need to out-work his completion and try to get in the lineup as a freshman,” Ferro said.
Stephen Decatur baseball Coach Rich Ferro joins seniors
Justin Meekins, left, and Grant Donahue, for a photo
Nov. 20 at the Berlin school, as the boys announce they
will be playing Division I baseball at University of Maryland
and University of Virginia, respectively.