Though it was news to most everyone else, Doug Still knew this day was ahead of him.
Nearly a year ago Still attended a tryout held by the Atlanta Braves in Kennett where scouts saw the 6-2 left hander throw. In so many words, they told Still, "We'll get ya."
The Atlanta Braves made good on their promise Saturday when they drafted the Sikeston graduate in the 33rd round (1003rd overall) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
"This has always been my dream to play professional baseball," Still said. "Every since I've been able to throw a ball and it's finally came true. I can't be any more excited."
Still finished his senior season with a 3-4 record and a 2.44 ERA for the Bulldogs while striking out 70. His junior season was slightly better with a spotless 5-0 record and an ERA of 0.81.
Before the beginning of his senior year Still signed a letter of intent to pitch for Jefferson College. The decision to sign with Atlanta or attend Jefferson is still a decision Still hasn't made yet.
"I don't know yet," Still said. "There's still some things we have to figure out."
Still is the second Sikeston player drafted by the Atlanta Braves and third to play for the organization. Blake Dewitt played four games for Atlanta in 2013 and Vince Howard, Jr. was taken by the Braves in 2009 in the 30th round.
Southeast Missouri has became a talent hotbed for Atlanta of late. Most recently, former Scott City and Southeast Missouri State University pitcher Shae Simmons was called up to the majors after being drafted in 2012, along with SEMO teammate Trenton Moses. On Friday, SEMO first baseman Matt Tellor was drafted by the Braves in the 10th round. Tellor was the OVC Player of the Year.
"They do a great job of discovering kids in southeast Missouri," Still said. "It feels good to be a part of that. I'm still in shock over it all. It's unbelievable."
It wasn't the Braves, but another SEMO Conference baseball player was drafted Saturday as well.
Kennett's Kevonte Mitchell, who has already signed his letter of intent to play for Southeast, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 13th round (379th overall).