The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

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March 31, 2014

Huntsville senior selected to play for national team, chase dream of playing college baseball

HUNTSVILLE — Dezmen Johnson has big dreams for his baseball future.

Huntsville’s senior pitcher and first baseman wants to play on the collegiate level, and perhaps professionally one day.

So far, the pursuit has led him to the Under Armour sponsored Baseball Factory National Team, which Johnson was invited to become a member through a mailed letter in early February.

As part of the deal, Johnson will play in the Omaha National World Series for either the first session June 14-19 or the second session June 21-26.

“I saw a weird package with my name on it,” Johnson said. “I thought it was weird so I opened it up and that’s what it was.

“I just want to go and do my best because it’s like every kid’s dream to play at the College World Series field in Omaha. I’m very blessed.”

The invite puts Johnson in direct communication with scouts who see more than 20,000 players ever year at events nationwide.

The Baseball Factory program offers assistance with field development and also helps navigate the college recruiting process.

Johnson wants to get stronger but also lose a bit of weight between the end of his senior season at Huntsville and playing with the national team this summer.

Baseball appears to have come natural to the Huntsville senior, who at 2-years-old began watching his older cousin play the game before playing at age 4.

First-year Huntsville head coach Brad Bohannon said Johnson is one of the more vocal leaders on a struggling Hornet team with only one district win on the season.

“He’s a good teammate and as far as his words, when he speaks he’s usually trying to build up his teammates,” Bohannon said. “He’s often the one leading the cheers and leading the charge from the dugout.”

 An online donation page was created  at http://www.gofundme.com/dezbaseball to help Johnson pay for travel and lodging costs.

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