Josh Smith

Ninnekah senior Josh Smith signs his letter of intent to play baseball for Southwestern Christian University. He is joined for the signing ceremony by his parents, Mark and Dana, Ninnekah Head Coach Tom Hurst, and SCU coaches Joe Blackwell and Tim Braaten.

Ninnekah senior Josh Smith signed a national letter of intent on Monday to play baseball for Southwestern Christian University.

Smith will attend SCU in the fall and head straight into the Eagles squad and work his way up to a starting spot. Both Head Coach Joe Blackwell and assistant Tim Braaten came to Ninnekah for Smith's signing ceremony in the Owl's Nest gym.

Smith said he was attracted by the small size of SCU, located in Bethany. He plans on studying sports business and management.

"It's smaller, which is what I'm used to," Smith said. "This way, it's not too big of a transition."

The season starts next week for Head Coach Tom Hurst and the Owls, with expectations high for this season's team. With that in mind, Smith said he was glad to get his future settled.

"We're expected to be good this year," Smith said. "I won't be wondering who's watching in the stands. This way, I can just focus on bringing home a trophy."

While player signings aren't necessarily an every-season occurrence for small schools, Smith's family has a tradition of college athletes. His list of cousins includes Chickasha Head Coach Jerry Don Bray, who played football for Chickasha and Oklahoma State, sisters Kelley and Michele Workman, who were basketball state finalists with Chickasha before playing for the University of Oklahoma, and former Pioneer and Chickasha head basketball coach Nathan Pennypacker.

Smith also said he had a relative who pitched for Oklahoma State and his father, Mark, was a known bronc rider in rodeos.

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