Many athletes dream of attending one particular college from a very young age. Most do not get the chance to fulfill that dream.
Then there are rare athletes like left-handed pitcher Luke Spangler at Cape Coral High. He has dreamt since the age of 9 or 10 of playing baseball for the Miami Hurricanes, ever since his family moved to Florida.
Spangler gets to fulfill his dream because the Hurricanes came through with a scholarship offer.
Spangler signed that national letter-of-intent Wednesday in the school auditorium surrounded by teammates, coaches, classmates, family and friends.
"He played well for us as a sophomore," said Seahawks coach Mike Gorton. "Then he got hurt early in his junior season and didn't get to play much. He always wanted to go to Miami and fortunately he was good enough and they made an offer."
Spangler had several school interested in him because of the quality of his statistics. But, Miami always had the inside track. In fact, he verbally committed before his junior season.
Heading into his senior season in a few months, Spangler has a career record of 9-4 with 78 strikeouts with a 2.96 ERA covering 85 innings pitched. He carries a .278 batting average into his senior season with 47 hits 24 RBI and 42 runs scored.
"It's been a long while since we had a Division I signee," said Gorton.
Spangler's dream almost was derailed by an arm injury last season and underwent Tommy John surgery.
"He's still doing rehab," said Gorton. "I'll probably use him as a closer early in the season and gradually work him back on a pitch count to starter. That way he won't have that many innings on his arm and we can have him at full strength for the district tourney."
Also on Wednesday, Bishop Verot senior Ricky Doyle signed a national letter to play basketball at the University of Michigan.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Doyle is the most highly recruited basketball player in Southwest Florida since Mariner's Teddy Dupay.
Doyle averaged 21 points and seven rebounds for the Vikings last season.