Every young athlete dreams of being featured on SportsCenter.
As the countdown continued on a weekly edition of the Top Ten two Septembers ago, one high schooler got to live that dream.
Andy McGuire watched from James Madison High on his laptop at lunchtime as his own highlight was portrayed across the screen. Instead of being overjoyed, he was overcome with laughter.
The native of Vienna, VA was featured on ESPN’s Not Top Ten as a sophomore for a now-infamous play he made during a football game.
“It was a kick return,” McGuire said. “It carried a little and I ran back, turned around, caught it and there it was, the goalpost. I hit it pretty hard.”
McGuire made a fantastic catch before heading directly into the goalpost and dropping straight to the ground. For what it’s worth, he held onto the ball.
The talented young shortstop looks forward to making it onto ESPN once again in the future, though for something more prominent next time. He’s certainly on the right track, now immersing himself fully into baseball, his No. 1 sport.
He is the first player from Virginia to obtain a scholarship to Texas, an interesting choice considering the options closer to home.
“I visited four schools,” McGuire said. “Virginia, Florida, South Carolina and Texas. I always wanted to go to Texas so when the offer was made, it wasn’t a tough decision. But my dad kind of made me slow down and look at the other schools.
“He wanted me to look at Virginia just because it’s in-state and it’s such a good school, so I looked at that. South Carolina I liked a lot and Florida I liked a lot but Texas was just where I wanted to go.”
Texas has been on the infielder’s mind ever since he went to the school as a young swimming prospect. Before focusing solely on baseball, McGuire was a nationally-ranked swimmer who ended up in the Lone Star State in the interest of college recruitment at age 11.
“My favorite color’s always been orange,” he said. “I went there on a swim camp and I liked it a lot, but not the swimming part…it was a college recruiting swimming camp for the kids and the USA coach was there and they had a lot of Olympic swimmers there. It was ridiculous.
“But I really liked the school after that. I figured that I had to reach out to them [for baseball] because I knew that they don’t really recruit that much out of state, but I guess it worked out for me.”
Things have certainly worked out for McGuire. Since focusing on baseball, he is currently aiming for a spot on the Team USA 18-and-under roster, while awaiting next year’s draft and looking forward to heading back to the school he first experienced as an 11-year-old.
“My freshman year was when I really made the decision just to focus on baseball and I decided I was going to start doing showcases,” he said. “I guess that paid off because that was the year; that winter was the year I started getting attention.”
McGuire garnered some attention at the Tournament of Stars last week in Cary, where he made the 40-man roster for the junior national team. The caliber of competition he was up against fueled the infield prospect to perform his best.
“You play up,” he said. “Just because of the atmosphere and everyone’s watching and you’re playing with really good players. It’s not like high school ball. Everyone out there’s really good.”
McGuire is one of those players who happens to be really good, whether it be in the water, on the gridiron or on the diamond. His hope is that someday soon he can do something so good that he can make ESPN’s Top Ten without a bout of laughter following behind.