"Our goal in recruiting was to bring in young players (high school) in our first few years and then start bringing in a mix of older players (junior college transfers) with some young players as our student-athletes developed and gained experience from playing in the Colonial Athletic Association," said Coach Anderson. "At this stage, we have concentrated on bringing in players that have a good chance to impact our program immediately. With the players that we have here now, and with the additions of Kevin Brantley, Rob Cafiero, Chris Harkey, Korey Martin and Graham Tebbit, we feel that we are well prepared for CAA competition and beyond."
Brantley (Apopka, FL), the only high school player in the early signing class, plays scholastically at Wekiva High School in Apopka. An infielder, he was named the team Most Valuable Player after posting a .405 batting average and leading the team in hits as a sophomore in 2010. As a junior he once again led the team in hits and recorded a .413 average, earning honorable mention All-West Metro Conference accolades. "Kevin Brantley is a plus defender and has a tremendous upside offensively," said Anderson. "He can play second, short and third, so he provides us with a great deal of versatility. Kevin comes from a prestigious summer program in the Orlando Scorpions and he has successfully competed against numerous high-end summer programs across the country over the last few summers."
Cafiero (Bethpage, NY), who will be coming to Hofstra after spending the 2011-12 academic year at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina, is no stranger to Long Island collegiate baseball. The infielder/catcher spent the 2010-11 season at New York Tech in Old Westbury. He started 37 of 42 games and posted a .310 average, seven doubles, three triples, five home runs and 32 RBIs on the season en route to second team All-Great West Conference honors. Cafiero was an All-Nassau County selection in baseball for three years at three different positions (third base, shortstop and catcher) and was also an all-county quarterback as a senior for the Golden Eagles of Bethpage High School. "Rob Cafiero is a backyard talent who ventured down to CVCC in North Carolina," Anderson said. "Rob is the ultimate utility player. He is amongst the very few that can play every position on the field defensively and even pitch if we need him to. His bat is a strong suit and he has been a middle of the order type of hitter in the past."
Harkey (Belmont, NC), a right-handed pitcher, will also join the Pride from Catawba Valley Community College. In his first season at CVCC Harkey posted a 7-1 record and helped the team to a third place finish at the regional tournament. Harkey played scholastically at South Point High School in Belmont, North Carolina, where he pitched for three seasons (he missed his junior year following Tommy John surgery). He compiled a 24-3 record and was a team Most Valuable Player and Scholar-Athlete Award recipient. "Chris Harkey wins," said Coach Anderson. "Very simply put, he is a winner and brings a mound presence and quality stuff to help our staff on the weekends. Chris has the ability to throw three or four pitches for strikes and pounds the zone. He is a mid to high 80's right-handed pitcher who flat out competes."
Martin (Lincolnton, NC) completes a trio of Catawba Valley Community College players to sign with the Pride. An outfielder, Martin was a first team All-Region X selection in 2011 after compiling a .450 average, 15 doubles, seven triples, 47 runs scored, 36 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. His .450 average ranked 12th in the nation, while his seven triples ranked sixth in the country. As a high school player at West Lincoln High School, Martin was a two-time all-conference selection. "Korey Martin is the epitome of an old school/throw back baseball player," said Anderson. "Korey is a lead-off type of hitter who can go get it at all three positions in the pasture. His speed, defensive prowess and hitting attributes will help us tremendously."
Tebbit (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), a 6-5, 230-pound right-handed pitcher, will spend the 2011-12 academic year at Macomb Community College in Clinton Township, Michigan. He spent his freshman year at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin Tennessee. Tebbit made seven appearances for the Pioneers in 2011 and was 0-1 with two saves. He played scholastically at Lorne Park Secondary School in Mississauga and was a two-time team Most Valuable Player. As a junior he was named to the Toronto Star All-Star team after compiling a .552 average and a 0.52 ERA with 29 strikeouts. Following his senior season he was a PBLO All-Star after batting .452 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs. "Graham Tebbit is a power arm with a good feel to throw two or three pitches for strikes," said Anderson. "Graham's size, arm speed and work ethic will allow him a great opportunity to pitch in the CAA. Graham is a raw stuff guy who needs innings under his belt, which he will get this spring at Macomb. Graham has topped out at 93 mph according to Coach Bill Hendershot at MCC."
"All five signees have the mentality and make-up of our current players," Anderson said. "This was a big emphasis of our recruiting this year. Assistant Coaches Kelly Haynes and John Russo have done an outstanding job of reaching out to new and old contacts to bring these five quality players here to Hofstra. Coach Frank Pait (CVCC), Matt Gerber (Orlando Scorpions) and MCC Pitching Coach Tom Waelchli have done an unreal job with preparing these five student-athletes for the Division I level and we thank them wholeheartedly."