Casa Grande High School senior Francis Christy will follow the Oregon trail as he continues to pursue his dream of professional baseball.
Christy, an All-Empire catcher for the Gauchos, has agreed to play baseball and study at the University of Oregon once he graduates from Casa Grande this spring.
Christy hit a walloping .421 for the Gauchos as a sophomore, collecting 32 hits that included seven doubles, two triples and five home runs in 76 at bats.
He had a .505 on-base percentage and a .763 slugging percentage. Blessed with a cannon-like arm, he was also one of the Redwood Empire's top defensive catchers.
Several colleges took notice of the numbers and Christy's impressive physical abilities, and he had several offers, but his eye was always on Oregon.
"I was kind of set on going there," he said.
Christy said a large part of his decision was based on Oregon head coach George Horton, who came to Oregon from Cal State Fullerton and has been instrumental in resurrecting the Oregon program that was reinstated in 2007 after being dormant since 1981. During his three seasons at Oregon, the Ducks have compiled an 86-90-1 record, improving each season. Last year the Ducks were 33-026-1 and were 10-3-1 in their last 14 games.
"The team is family oriented," observed Christy. "Coach expects the players to play and act like a team."
Another part of his decision was the campus.
"I was instantly impressed with the campus and Eugene. It is a great campus and a great area."