By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON — Thomas Weber signed with Parkland College located in Champaign on Friday afternoon.
“Thomas has worked hard, and he's a guy that's improved a lot from his sophomore to his junior year,” Mt. Vernon baseball coach Tim Holloway said. “And people are going to see that he's improved even more from last year to this year. It's a nice reward for him.”
Weber was a versatile player a season ago for Holloway's team that advanced to the 3A state final and placed fourth.
“We need him on the mound. He's a very good catcher,” Holloway said. “So we're going to have to find ways to get him on the mound where we have a two or three day break where he can rest his arm.
“We're not going to throw him out there either as a pitcher or catcher with a sore arm.”
The senior pitched, played catcher and hit for the Rams a season ago. Weber returns to a team that lost most of its starters after graduation.
“I think we have obviously a good shot to win (the South Seven) conference this year,” Weber said. “Coach Holloway expects that from us. I'd like to go to state again personally that was a lot of fun. But this year I would like to at least win a game or two. That would be nice. I think we have a good shot this year.”
Weber said Parkland is a good fit for him and gives him a chance to progress to the next college level in the future.
“I have the opportunity to come in and play right away, get playing time, have a lot of fun,” Weber said. “A bunch of kids off my summer team are going there so it was definitely a good fit.”
A season ago he made 15 appearances on the mound and threw 21 and two thirds innings for the Rams. He was later named South Seven Conference honorable mention as a pitcher.
Weber has played travel baseball with Elite Travel Baseball's St. Louis Pirates and St. Louis Prospects. The games took him to a variety of states, including Arkansas, Georgia and Arizona.
“I think over the summer you see a lot of guys, a lot of good arms, a lot of good hitters, face a lot of good talent going to college as well,” Weber said.