WELLSBURG - Sometime after his sophomore year, Steven Jeffries decided he really wanted to play college baseball.
The Brooke High graduate will continue his academic and athletic careers at Fairmont State University, where he will major in civil engineering and be a member of the baseball team.
"I've always wanted to play since I was little," he said. "These past few years, I've been pushing and working hard to see if I could get to the next level.
"I really love baseball and wanted to keep playing for as long as I can."
Jeffries played outfield and infield for the Bruins and does not care where he plays for the Fighting Falcons.
"You can put me anywhere, I don't care," he said about being able to play multiple positions. "I'm a flexible guy. I just want to play.
"I've been playing various positions since I was young and it continued in high school. As long as I was playing, I didn't care where I was playing."
Jeffries finished his senior year hitting .337 with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, 21 RBIs and was issued 17 walks.
"As a sophomore, he started out in right field for us," said Brooke coach Ron Ujcich. "We moved him to second base. He's played shortstop for us and third and he finished his career back at second base, where he originally started when he came in as a freshman."
Fighting Falcons coach George Yanchak, a Brooke grad, just finished his fifth season as head coach.
"Steven never really pitched for us, but this year he came in as a relief pitcher (12 games) and finished 3-1 for us," said Ujcich. "He threw strikes, has a nice curveball and I know coach Yanchak saw something he likes in his arm.
"He made some comments that he would like to look at him as a pitcher, not so much as a starter, but as a relief pitcher when he gets down there.
"Steven is just an athletic kid and when you go to the next level, you're walking into a program that usually has the best from every school. It's important to be athletic and it's important to be versatile.
"I've talked to coaches before who have said they fielded a team with nine high school shortstops. College coaches want the best athletes and those guys have to be versatile. Steven has done that and will probably continue to do that and it will be a tremendous help to him at Fairmont State."
Jeffries, who is playing Legion baseball for Wheeling Post 1, knows he didn't get to this point alone.
"I definitely want to thank my parents, coach U, and all my coaches who have helped me since I was tiny, and anybody who has helped me out with baseball and in being the person I am now," he said.