As the school year winds down, the Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund are taking time to acknowledge the Reds RBI seniors graduating from high school.
During the 2020 season, when so many student-athletes missed out on their senior baseball and softballs seasons, the Reds Community Fund introduced its Senior Spotlight series to showcase these players. While the games resumed this year, the RCF wanted to honor their exemplary student-athletes once again by bringing back Senior Spotlights.
While all the kids are competitive once they take the field, they were also just thankful to have a senior season after being unable to compete last year due to the pandemic.
“It meant the world to me to be able to get back out there,” Sycamore High School graduate Harrison Barnes. “I was just blessed to have a senior year and pursue my dream of playing college baseball.”
Barnes will be heading this fall to Tuskegee University, where he will study business and begin his collegiate baseball career. While he is excited for the next chapter of his life, Barnes will always remember his time with the RBI Program fondly.
“I have been with RBI for six years. I will always take the sense of community with me,” he said. “I really felt like the Academy was my second home. I am also very fortunate to have been able to develop my skills through the various programing and the highly skilled coaching staff.”
Nijel Davis, Barnes’ RBI teammate, will also miss his time in the program, which he credits for providing him the opportunity to play baseball in college and improving as a person off the field.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the RBI Reds,” he said. “They were my first ever summer team. I couldn’t afford to play anywhere else at a higher level, so I’m beyond grateful that RBI existed. They gave me a big league experience while at a young age and did nothing but help me improve my game.
“The coaches there not only helped me with my game, but they also gave me valuable life lessons that I will never forget. I also made bonds with my teammates that I won’t ever forget. You can walk in the dugout the first day and not know a soul, but by the end of the summer, you are brothers for life. And even when it seems like there’s nothing else they can possibly do for you, they continue to offer you scholarship opportunities, internships and many other ways to get involved in the community.”
Twenty-four RBI baseball players graduated this spring. Thirteen of these young men have their next destination planned, nine of which will continue their baseball careers at the next level. Signing Day for those players will be on June 8 at Great American Ball Park.
- Aiden Allen (St. Bernard-Elmwood Place High School)
- Harrison Barnes (Sycamore High School) -- Tuskegee University
- Kameron Boggs (Clark Montessori) -- Clark State College
- Javen Curtis (Walnut Hills High School) -- Clark Atlanta University
- Ryan Dace (Finneytown High School)
- Nijel Davis (Moeller High School) -- Morehouse College
- Ryan Dawson (La Salle High School) -- Denison University
- Elijah Ferguson (Mount Auburn Preparatory Academy) -- Clark Atlanta University
- Trevor Fisher (Talawanda High School) -- University of Northwestern Ohio
- Alex Flickinger (Covington Catholic High School)
- Tarrus Garrett (Kings High School) -- Wittenberg University
- CJ Glover (Northwest High School)
- Quinton Hall (Vandalia Butler High School) -- Eastern Kentucky University
- Bobby Hazelwood (Reading High School)
- Bobby Kelly (Purcell Marian High School) -- Benedict College
- Jacob Long (Dater/Western Hills High School)
- KeJuan McDaniel-Watts (Withrow High School) – Wright State University
- Dylan McMasters (Milford High School)
- Jesse Olverson (Princeton High School) -- Wilberforce University
- James Randolph (Princeton High School)
- Shelby Rosser (Roger Bacon High School)
- Isaiah Smiley (Purcell Marian High School)
- Kamren Williams (North College High School) -- Bluffton University
- Quinn Wilson (Beavercreek High School)