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Madison Academy baseball player Ryan Harness has verbally committed to Arizona Christian University for a college scholarship to play baseball. Harness, a junior, will have to wait a year before signing with the NAIA school. Photo Contributed

Mustangs’ Ryan Harness Commits To Arizona School For College And Baseball

MADISON- Despite not being able to sign for another year, Madison Academy junior Ryan Harness has verbally committed to Arizona Christian University of Glendale, Az. The talented outfielder and pitcher for the Mustangs was offered a scholarship while attending a baseball camp over the recent Christmas holidays.

“It was a surprise I was offered as I was just attending a baseball camp while visiting my parents who live in the area,” said Harness. “After the camp, the school coach, Joe McDonald, pulled me aside and said he wanted to offer me a spot on their team after I graduate in 2021. My father was there with me when they offered.”

Harness currently lives with Bruce and Dianna Gill here locally as his parents, Tim and Myunghee Harness, live in Phoenix where his mother continues to be treated by special surgeons after having a double lung transplant about a year and a half ago. She suffers from pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension. She continues to struggle through her recuperation at St. Joe’s Hospital in Phoenix with Tim by her side.

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Harness visited his parents during the two-week holiday break from school and decided to attend the camp that featured 45 attendees in all. Harness took to the field with confidence and soon impressed the coaching staff of the Firestorm with his positive attitude, work ethic and overall skills. His original thoughts on college were to attend Grand Canyon University of Arizona, a school his visited last summer, but when Arizona Christian presented an offer, it was one he couldn’t refuse.

“I gave the school my commitment two days after receiving the offer and I’m comfortable with my decision,” said Harness. “The Firestorm play in the NAIA. They were 39-21 last season and just missed the NAIA World Series by one game.”

Harness, who has a 3.3 grade point average and has his thoughts on becoming a history teacher and coach, also participates for the Vipers Baseball Academy in Huntsville, which is a travel program playing games throughout the Southeast each summer.

The left-handed throwing and batting Harness said, “My best quality is hitting and speed with my arm strength as rated average.”

The 17-year old speaks with his parents each evening by telephone and after going through each day’s agenda they say prayers together, which have helped keep the teenager focused on school, athletics and his faith that his mother will continue to improve from her health situation.

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