Harrell, Burden ink college offers

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

AHOSKIE — Two standout Hertford County High School baseball players will continue their careers on the collegiate level.

Recently, Marvin Harrell Jr. and Tyler Burden signed to play baseball at Elizabeth City State University and Chowan University respectively.

Veteran HCHS baseball boss Chris Towell said he believed both young men would be successful at the next level.

“I think Chowan and Elizabeth City are getting, to me at least, the best two players in our conference,” he said. “They are two great student-athletes who will be successful at the next level just like the guys that have gone before them.

“They are good baseball players and great kids,” he added.

Burden, who has been a successful pitcher and position player at HCHS, said he chose Chowan because he felt it gave him the best chance to be comfortable.

“The team and administrative staff felt most like family,” he said. “I have a better opportunity of being myself there and feel more comfortable starting my career there.”

Burden said Chowan Head Coach Taylor Furlough would likely use him on the left side of the diamond, playing third base, shortstop or left field. He said he also plans to pitch for the Hawks.

“What I look forward to most at college is the opportunity to give it all I have and bust it to earn a position on the team,” he said.

Burden said he had learned a lot during his high school career.

“One thing I’ve learned from my four years is that no matter how far you go in life, the whole school will back your decision,” he said. “I’ve also learned that hard work and dedication will eventually pay off.”

As he looks back on his career, Burden said his best memory was his senior year when the Bears played rival Bertie.

“Not only did Marvin and I hit back-to-back homeruns in the first inning, but it was the first two pitches of the game,” he said.

Burden chose Chowan over Brunswick Community College, Pitt Community College and the College of the Albemarle.

Harrell made the choice to head to Elizabeth City after also considering Chowan and College of the Albemarle. He said that choice came because he felt the Vikings were the ones who most wanted him.

“They were the college that showed the most interest in me playing for them,” Harrell said. “I also like the school campus a lot and the college itself.”

Harrell pitched and played several other positions during his high school career. As he moves forward, he said he is looking forward to the college experience.

“I am excited about getting away from home and exploring the college life of living and baseball,” he said.

Harrell said he learned the importance of respect while playing for the Bears.

“In my four years of high school, I have learned that respecting people will take you a long way,” he said. “When you put your all to a sport and play hard, you will become a better player.”

His favorite high school memory came against Northeastern High School.

“We played at Elizabeth City and had to finish a game that was tied at 9,” he said. “In the top of the ninth, I was at bat and the first pitch almost hit me. The next pitch I hit a solo shot to left and then went on the mount to pitch and sat them down three up and three down for the win.”

Towell said he had enjoyed coaching both of the young men.

“It has been fun coaching those two,” he said. “They have given everything they had. The younger kids have looked up to them, just like they did the guys that were upper classmen when they were younger. They have been part of something special over the last four years.”