And he’s off……

On Friday, June 19, 2015 with mother Robin holding back tears, Desmond Lindsay, The Out-of-Door Academy graduate and baseball standout, sat humbly in front of an audience of media personnel, family members, coaches, faculty, and students to announce his decision to sign with the New York Mets. Lindsay, a 2015 ODA Graduate was drafted 53rd in the 2015 MLB Draft.

David Mahler, Head of School at The Out-of-Door Academy, along with Brett Timmons, Athletic Director, shared a few brief words about Desmond’s academic and athletic career before turning everyone’s attention to the newest Met. “He’s an incredible ambassador of the school,” said Mahler who now must think carefully about how to support the player who will wear the blue and orange while a New York Yankee’s fan. Mahler thanked Desmond’s mother Robin, the faculty at Out-of-Door, and Katie and Mike Emmons, who established The Taylor William Emmons Memorial Foundation in honor of their son, for supporting Desmond. Desmond is the first recipient of the Emmons Scholarship and is the torchbearer for the organization. Timmons added that he is proud of Desmond’s accomplishments at Out-of-Door and he shared how he once tried to get Desmond to play football in addition to baseball but ultimately, Desmond’s passion for baseball prevailed.

“The choice was a very difficult decision, education is very important,” said Lindsay. However, contemplating this once-in-a-lifetime decision with family and other supporters, he ultimately chose to go pro. Even though he decided to play for the Mets, Desmond will be able to attend and take online courses at UNC during the off-season.

When asked if he was a Mets’ fan growing up, Desmond responded, “No” and explained that while he loved sports, he preferred playing and not watching. However, he’s not unfamiliar to the Mets, his grandmother is from the New York area and is an avid Mets’ fan. When he visited her during baseball season, she had her beloved Mets playing on the television. Now, he has an opportunity to play on the big stage at Citi Field one day and no doubt grandmother will not have to watch him from her Florida home.

Being drafted by a professional sports team would be anyone’s dream and the past week was amazing for Desmond. He visited Citi Field even though it wasn’t the first time he had been at the stadium. It was different this time as he toured areas that were typically off limits to general baseball fans. “I never realized how big Citi Field was, the whole atmosphere was a lot different than I was used to,” he said. But before Desmond can play outfield at Citi Field, his first stop will be the Gulf Coast League with the St. Lucie Mets on the east coast of Florida, only a three-hour car ride from home.

Rod Miller, Out-of-Door’s athletic trainer has supported Desmond for many years. He indicated how proud he is of Desmond, but he also noted how diligent Desmond was about his training both off and on the field. “I’ve trained amateurs and professionals and Desmond was one of the most consistent athletes I’ve ever worked with,” Miller said. Knowing that the Mets personnel observed how fast and explosive Desmond is was extremely important to Miller. Those words meant a lot to him because that is how he trains the Out-of-Door student athletes. James Keubler, one of Out-of-Door’s assistant baseball coaches, was also in attendance. “Desmond always had that something special and everyone knew,” he said. “No one swung a bat more than he did, no one studied film more than he did and you can see it.”

Robin Lindsay, who sat quietly next to her son, was asked how she felt. Although it took a few seconds for her to answer, you could see the pride in her eyes as she responded, “Elated” with a smile. Since the draft, Desmond has had a whirlwind experience. He said the days spent at Citi Field were special. The visit there motivated him and he will work hard while at Port St. Lucie. But observing where the big leaguers dress, play and eat provided even more motivation for him to get to New York. Dez is motivated and ready to get started on this new journey. Congratulations Desmond!

Published by the staff at The Out-of-Door Academy

About Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund

The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund will provide opportunities for socio-economically diverse students to experience an independent, college preparatory education at The Out-of-Door Academy's Upper School. They will learn in an environment which allows students to strive to achieve their highest academic goals and build character through a balanced program of academics, the arts and athletics. The Emmons Family is looking to endow the Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund at $1.3 million dollars in order to provide (4) four-year scholarships simultaneously.
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