Carson High's Aaron Henry and Dayton's Matt Bowman are going to receive the chance to prove themselves at the University of Nevada.
Henry and Bowman are set to join the Wolf Pack baseball team next season as preferred walk-ons, meaning they will be guaranteed spots on the roster. Henry has registered for classes at Nevada so he has made his decision final to attend the school.
While Bowman has yet to make a final decision, he said it's "most likely" that he'll attend the school.
"I always wanted to stay close to home," Bowman said. "Unless something really big comes through, it's pretty much for sure. My options are kind of open still."
Bowman put up monster stats this past season in being named the State and Northern 3A Player of the Year. Bowman hit .760 in Northern 3A play and hit .707 overall with 12 home runs and 64 RBI. He was also 34-for-34 in stolen bases.
Henry had his season cut short by a broken ankle, but still had an excellent year, hitting .424 with two homers, 11 RBI, six doubles and 33 runs scored through 19 games. Despite playing only 19 games, his 33 runs were second on the team. Henry was 21-of-21 in stolen bases as well. "I just think it's awesome to be able to play close to home," Henry said.
Both Henry and Bowman would use the Millenium scholarship and both have other scholarships they can use as well.
Bowman, who played shortstop for Dayton, will likely receive a chance at second base with Nevada.
"He said he wants me to come and he's not going to treat me as a walk on," said Bowman about what Nevada coach Gary Powers told him. "He's going to treat me like a regular scholarship guy.
"I think just getting the opportunity I can take advantage of it. As long as I get the chance I should be ready to step right in there."
Bowman is now playing the the Sierra Sun Devils and Henry hopes to join the Sun Devils as soon as June 15.
Powers essentially told Henry he would be treated the same as Bowman. Despite his ankle injury, Powers has no plans to redshirt Henry, who played centerfield for Carson.
That's because Powers could lose all three of his starting outfielders. Brian Gazerro was a senior this past season and Chris Gimenez and Jacob Butler both could be drafted. Among the other outfielders that Powers is bringing in is Reno High's Drew Johnson.
"Hopefully I'll be able to get a chance to show what I can do after breaking my ankle," Henry said. "They're bringing in a lot of people, too, but I think I'll be able to prove myself."
Henry was also recruited by Sacramento State, Feather River College and another junior college, the College of Southern Idaho. Southern Idaho offered Henry a full-ride scholarship.
"I just thought it was the best option," said Henry about going to Nevada. "I didn't really want to go to a JC. I was hoping to go to a Division I. I'm just hoping I can earn a spot in the future."
Bowman and Henry have known each other since they were 13 when they played for Carson's 13-year-old State Babe Ruth title team.
If everything goes according to plan, Bowman and Henry would be roommates. "I'm going to stay with Matt," Henry said. "It will be fun. We've been good friends for a while."
Contact Charles Whisnand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214.