Former Loudon baseball player joins Padres' organization

Dewey Morgan News Herald

For the second time in Loudon High School history, a graduate is going to play professional baseball, according to LHS coach Bill Thompson.

Aaron Everett, son of Kent and Lori Everett, has agreed to terms with the San Diego Padres on a minor league contract. "It's been real exciting," Everett said of the period since agreeing to a contract with the pro team.  "All my family was really happy for me and everything - they knew it was my dream to come play pro ball."

Everett agreed to terms with the Padres Friday night, according to his father, and has been assigned to the short-season Class A Eugene Emeralds in Eugene, Ore.  The Emeralds' season will begin Friday and Everett said he expects to be a reliever for them, much like he was in college.

The Padres have shown interest in the Loudon grad for a while, having drafted him in the 38th round out of high school.  Everett, however, chose to head to school at the University of Tennessee instead.

Since being drafted, Everett said the Padres have shown interest "off and on for the most part" and the west coast team swooped him up once he became available again.  "I knew the scout . . . we've kept a relationship through the time," Everett said.

The Loudon grad said he was signed by Padres crosschecker Ashley Lawson, who is the only person in the organization who Everett has had consistent contact with.  "He pretty much has been the only one," Everett said.

Everett flew to Oregon Monday night and took his physical Tuesday and was expected to officially sign his contract Tuesday evening.  

Everett graduated from Loudon in 2005 and went on to pitch three seasons at the University of Tennessee before an arm injury knocked him out of the 2008 season on April 6.  Everett then transferred to Lee University, redshirted a year and then spent the 2010 season pitching for the Lee Flames.

While at Tennessee, Everett posted a 3.23 ERA and an overall record of 8-2 in 49 appearances.  He posted an 82:28 K:BB ratio and picked up two saves.  He set a Tennessee record by appearing in 11 straight games and once pitched in 16 of 23 contests for the Vols.

He enjoyed even more success once he moved to Lee, posting a team-low 2.03 ERA with a 60:16 K:BB ratio.  He was primarily a closer for the Flames, recording eight saves on the season.  He posted a 7-6 record on a team that finished the season 52-13 and placed second in the NAIA World Series.

Everett's high school coach, Thompson, shares his excitement over the signing.  "I know this is a goal Aaron's had ever since high school," Thompson said.  "I feel good for Aaron and his family because Aaron's a good boy.  When he came to high school, he was just a pleasure to have on the team."

Thompson also said this could help raise the profile of Loudon High School for the future.   "It's fortunate for a school our size to have anyone ever even have the chance to get this far," the coach said.  "I think it just helps the overall tradition because, again, scouts will know to look at Loudon High School."

Everett isn't the only former Redskin to make the minor leagues, however.  Mike White, a 1986 graduate of Loudon High School, was taken in the first round of the 1986 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  White made it to the Dodgers' Class AAA team before arm injuries shortened his professional career.

Everett won't be alone out on the west coast either, as Bearden graduate Brett Basham was selected in the 50th round and will report to the Eugene Emeralds as a catcher, according to Kent Everett.  Basham and Aaron were teammates on baseball teams from the time they were 12 years old up until high school.  Basham then went to Bearden and then played at Ole Miss.

The Emeralds are set to open their season Friday at 7:05 p.m. at home against Vancouver.  Greg Riddoch is the Emeralds' manager and Tom Bradley is their pitching coach.  Riddoch was the manager of the Padres' major league club from 1990-1992.