By Marty Gordon
In announcing his decision to walk on at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Christiansburg High School senior catcher Reagan Harris is the fifth of seven Blue Demon baseball seniors to declare his intention to play in college.
The Lexington school spoke to him during several visits in the past year.
“I really saw the connections and how no matter if you are a past, present or future attendee, you are in the VMI family,” Harris said. “As I had conversations with many people, it was always a 40-year decision, not a four-year one.”
The 2020 high school baseball season was derailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2019, Harris averaged .352 at the plate with an impressive .581 on-base-percentage. He was second on the team with three home runs and 16 RBI’s. Harris, who made the varsity squad as a freshman, has played catcher for the last three years and was All-River Ridge District in both 2018 and 2019.
He is optimistic for a Blue Demon season, but if it happens, he will have to fight through the aftermath of Tommy John surgery, which has sidelined him for the past few months.
“The recovery process has been going really well. I had an appointment last Monday and the doctor was really ecstatic and excited about how far ahead and how well I was recovering,” Harris said.
While he has been a constant behind the plate for the past three years, the injury and rehab will force him to watch from the sidelines. The Christiansburg coaching staff expects him to be a designated hitter with the possibility of playing another position.
His goal on the diamond is to never be outworked every day and leave everything on the field every time he steps on it.
“While I hope to become an MLB Draft prospect, I am also wanting to learn the skills needed to provide for my future family as well as my parents and family. I just eventually want to be able to provide for my loved ones,” Harris said.
He has been accepted into VMI’s Engineering and Air Force ROTC programs.
Jonathan Hadra, who recently concluded his sixth season as the head coach of the Keydets, led the team to a 4-13 mark in a shortened season this past spring.