For Connor Obermeier, it's the best of both worlds. The Okawville High School senior is getting a start on his education and will play baseball as well at Kaskaskia College after recently signing a letter of intent.
"It [playing college baseball] is something you always think about," said Obermeier, an outfielder for the Rockets and American Legion Poelker Post 321 of New Baden where he plays in the summer. "I'm happy about getting the opportunity."
Last season, Obermeier swiped a team-high 15 bases for Okawville.
"Kaskaskia's getting a dependable, hard-working player in Connor," said Okawville Coach Rick Gaebe. "He has good speed and can cover a lot of ground in the outfield.
"Defensively, he knows what to do with the ball when it's hit to him, and at the plate he hits from the left side, can run and can bunt. He's a good player and a good person."
"Connor's knowledge of the game is what intrigued us about him," said Kaskaskia coach Mitch Koester. "He understands what needs to be done in certain situations -- both in the field and when he's at bat. He's a hard worker who's going to come in and compete for an outfield spot. We know he's a good athlete playing two sports in high school and when he gets to concentrate on just one, you're going to see big improvements. Connor's better days are ahead of him."
Obermeier, whose brother Cameron is a pitcher for the Blue Devils, said he chose KC for that reason and the fact that it's close to home.
Signing prior to the start of his final prep campaign is also a relief, he said. "It's definitely a load off my shoulders," he said. "Now I can focus on enjoying my senior year and don't have to worry about what I'll be doing after that."
"It [signing early] is good because it's one less thing you have to think about as a senior," said Gaebe. "Junior college baseball has developed into a recruiting competition and I respect KC for taking local players."
Pictured is Connor Obermeier (center) and parents Laura and Jeff Obermeier. Standing is Okawville Coach Rick Gaebe and KC Coach Mitch Koester.