EDMOND — May 1 is looming for Garrett Greenwood and his family.
It’s been a date that’s been quickly approaching for months now, but Greenwood, a speedy center fielder for Edmond Santa Fe, has to quickly make a decision.
Choose to attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and play baseball, or try to walk on at a Division I program as a free player due to his academics.
Greenwood’s preference would be to play at a higher level than the Division III Engineers program.
“For me, I wouldn’t necessarily mind it, but I’m just a really competitive person and I would hate to be finished playing baseball, look back on it and never be able to know how good I was and never challenge myself at the highest level possible,” he said. “For me, I want to play at the top level and see what I can do there. I think I can be successful there and I want to be able to challenge myself and bring the best out.”
Becoming the best was always Greenwood’s goal.
From the beginning, his parents Van and Denise stressed academics. They knew they had something special, though, when Garrett scored a 34 on his ACT following his sophomore year.
“It’s fantastic,” Denise said. “My husband and I both were pretty much in-state (colleges) or not. We didn’t have that option and it’s neat to see he can go wherever and do whatever.”
The Greenwoods say money isn’t the determining factor in the choice either. Garrett said his tuition would be about $15,000 a year at MIT, which he feels is a bargain.
“If we want to go, we’ll make it happen,” he said. “It wouldn’t be too bad, but obviously free school is a little more appealing and the baseball situation.”
There is a strong belief around the Wolves’ program that Greenwood can make it at the next level, too. A left-hander, he is currently hitting .379 with 17 RBIs from the leadoff spot.
“For me coaching him and having him for this many months, you see that he can do it and make it,” Santa Fe first-year coach Ryan Phillips said. “I don’t know that college coaches give him that much time to let him develop because there’s money involved or a spot available. But if somebody gives him a chance, there’s no doubt he’ll play at some point within his four years.”
That’s all Greenwood is hoping he gets no matter his decision.
“I’ll play and I’ll continue to work hard and improve and try to do the best I can at that level, too,” he said about MIT. “I’ll put all of my heart into it wherever I go and enjoy it, too.
“I like baseball too much to give it up.”