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Deloatch inks pact with COA

LASKER – A three-sport athlete at Northeast Academy will continue playing at the next level.

Last week Hunter Deloatch signed a scholarship to play baseball at the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.

Deloatch, who played baseball, football and basketball at Northeast, said he chose to continue playing baseball for a couple of reasons.

“I think I’m better at baseball and I enjoy it more,” Deloatch said.

During his four-year career with the Eagles, Deloatch helped Northeast make it to the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association playoffs twice, including this season.

Once there in 2009, the Eagles (10-5) upset Trinity School of Durham 12-11 to advance to the Elite 8 of the state playoffs. There they nearly pulled off an upset of NCISAA runner-up Kerr-Vance Academy, jumping out to an early lead before finally succumbing 10-6.

In the quarterfinal contest, Deloatch pitched on three days rest and also led the team offensively with two homeruns.

“He hit two out and almost a third,” said Northeast Head Coach Billy Bridgers. “The next time up, they walked him.”

Deloatch said that final game against Kerr-Vance was his best game of the season.

In his four-year career, he pitched, played shortstop and first base and anywhere else he was needed. His hard work playing for the Eagles led to a call from College of the Albemarle Head Coach Norbie Wilson.

After some discussions and looking into the program at COA, which is returning after a 33-year absence, Deloatch decided Elizabeth City was the place for him.

“It was close to home, it’s a small school and a new program,” Deloatch said. “Also, I like the chance to go to a new program and get it off to a good start.”

Deloatch said he was excited about playing baseball at the next level and that was always his choice despite a standout career in both football and basketball at Northeast. During the 2008-09 academic year, Deloatch was named All-Tarheel Independent Conference in basketball and baseball and All-Conference and All-State in football.

While playing at Northeast, Deloatch said he had learned from the Eagles.

“You’ve got to be a team player,” he said. “You also have to have a good time while you play.”

When he arrives at COA, Deloatch will play shortstop and centerfield for the Dolphins, something he said he is pleased with.

Bridgers said he believes Deloatch will be a key player for his college team.

“He’s an outstanding athlete, a good kid and he will be hard to replace,” Bridgers said. “He’ll be an asset to COA.”

Deloatch hopes to play for two years for the Dolphins and then continue his education and playing career at a four-year institution.

He will join Dakota Young of Bertie High School and Jonathan Brantley of Lawrence Academy with COA.

Deloatch is the son of Randy Deloatch and Lori Deloatch of Conway.