The Moore American

July 10, 2013

Faith, focus has been key for Bright

By Michael Kinney
The Moore American

MOORE — Austin Bright almost waited until the last minute. While most high school athletes know where they will be attending school before their senior season is over, Bright didn't make his decision until last month when the Moore High hurler committed and signed to play baseball at Wichita State University.

"I verbally committed to Coach (Brent) Kemnitz on June 13, then went to visit and meet the new coach, Coach Butler," Bright said. "And my commitment was then made official on June 25. Everything was done on that same date."

Bright had looks from Oklahoma Wesleyan, Northeast Oklahoma A&M and Hutchinson, the Shockers stood out above the rest.

"It was the opportunity to be under the tutelage of pitching Coach Brent Kemnitz," Bright said. "Also, the chance to compete in Division 1 baseball."

Even though he waited until the summer to commit, Bright was not distressed on if he was going to play ball in college or not.

"Colleges first started contacting me in the fall of my senior year," Bright said. "I was never worried because I had steady offers coming in since the fall but my main goal was WSU. So I just put my faith in God that he would provide a way."

Bright had a 0-3 record this past season. But in 36 innings of work, he had a 2.53 ERA, struck out 45 batters and only allowed 26 hits.

"From the team aspect it was a very challenging year because of the many trials that we went through as a team," Bright said. "Individually I would consider it a successful year."

Bright said he owes the success he had as a senior to him getting his priorities in order.

"What changed for me was my focus really set in that I wanted to be a top athlete," Bright said. "Also, I strengthened my relationship with Jesus Christ and I used my faith to help me lose 95 pounds."

Bright will not be at WSU alone. He will be joining former Moore standout Joe Haddox, who just completed his freshman season with the Shockers.

Bright has high expectations on and off the field. He's pursing a degree in Engineering. He graduated from MHS with letter of distinction and was in the top 10 percent of his class with a GPA of 4.57.

"I am expecting the best from myself as any athlete should," Bright said. "I want to be a freshman All-American and even an All-American. Also I would love to be a leader with Christian influence out of the gate and I believe with my preparation from the spiritual standpoint with the Oklahoma City Ambassadors it will help me achieve this goal."