Playing baseball in Coast Guard Academy culmination of dreams for Milford’s Reeder

MILFORD – Dreams can come true. Sometimes more than one at a time.

For Milford High Class of 2015   Dustin Reeder a pair of dreams recently came to fruition when he was accepted into the United States Coast Guard Academy where he will not only prepare for a future in mechanical engineering but also get to play baseball.

Milford grad Dustin Reeder will play baseball next season with the United States Coast Guard Academy. (Special to the Milford Chronicle)

Milford grad Dustin Reeder will play baseball next season with the United States Coast Guard Academy. (Special to the Milford Chronicle)

The desire to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy, which is in New London, Conn., stemmed from a want he first realized as a kid. Playing baseball at the next level, however, was something Reeder didn’t think about until taking the field at Milford High.

“I’ve been looking into it my whole life,” Reeder said of the Academy. “(Relatives) recommended it to me and I checked it out. It’s a very good academic program and challenging. You’re busy every single day. If you aren’t studying or working out you’re in class. And they have a good mechanical engineering program.

“My sophomore year I came back (to Milford) and started for varsity, that’s when I realized I wanted to go to college for baseball. Up through ninth grade it was just for fun.”

Although the academy was Reeder’s first choice, he did consider other options. One was to attend the University of Maryland for academics and try to walk-on with the Terrapins baseball team, others included playing for Salisbury University or York College, neither of which offered his preferred major.

An email he sent to Bears head coach C.C. Grant led to making the decision easier.

“I talked to the coach (C.C. Grant) and said ‘it’s always been one of my dreams to go here, do you think you would give me a shot looking at my video and let me have a visit?’ He saw my video and right away emailed me back. He told me I could definitely contribute to the program. That was always in the back of my mind when I visited other schools.”

Though excited to begin the next chapter of his life, the former Buccaneer will leave Milford with good memories. Not only was he part of the varsity team when it reached the state tournament finals his freshman year, Reeder also helped the Bucs back into the playoffs his senior season after a disappointing 2014 campaign.

His time with the varsity program, Reeder said, helped him to mature as a person and player.

“My freshman year I was kind of a jokester and (my teammates) all told me I needed to pull it together,” he said. “They were all hard workers. And hard work pays off.”

Along with playing baseball at Milford High, Reeder added that being a member of the First State Phitins under coaches Dave Jordan and Barry Benton helped better him in the sport.

“A lot of people say travel ball is a joke these days, but I think it’s what made me a bunch of friends and made high school baseball more fun,” he said. “I looked forward to going to every game.”

With the United States Coast Guard Academy baseball team, Reeder will be playing in the outfield, at first base and pitching.

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

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