Dakota Chalmers reintroduced himself to Forsyth County in fine fashion.
Dressed in a navy blazer, red gingham dress shirt and khakis, Chalmers signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Georgia this past Wednesday surrounded by coaches, family and students in a North Forsyth lunch room.
It was a compelling return for the senior right-handed pitcher who lives in Forsyth but attended Lakeview Academy in Gainesville starting in the middle of his eighth grade school year. The last time he saw many of his current classmates at North was in Little Mill Middle School four years ago.
“We’re all men and women now,” Chalmers said.
Yes, and Chalmers is now 6-foot-3, 170 pounds and throws fastballs and curveballs with professional talent. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, according to scouting reports. His curveball sits in the mid- to high-70s with above-average break. He can throw a change-up and slider.
He arrives at North a SEC, Division I-caliber player and regarded as one of the top high school pitching prospects in MLB’s 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
But Chalmers said he choose Georgia because they showed an interest in him before he flashed any of the skills that make him so highly-coveted now.
“They were willing to take me as a project player and develop me where as a lot of the other schools were looking for the talent there already,” Chalmers said. “Fortunately, some of those tools starting coming in a little earlier, as they expected they would. Because of that there were no thought of not ever choosing Georgia.”
After Wednesday, Chalmers could turn his thoughts solely on North’s upcoming season. The Raiders went 12-14 overall and 6-8 in Region 6-AAAAAA last season finishing one game back from the final playoff spot.
The addition of Chalmers could be just what North needs to get back to the postseason.
“I’ve definitely noticed an air of confidence coming from all the players, and I think that’s great,” Chalmers said. “…We’re just going to go in every day, work hard and I think we can do something pretty special.”