All that Morristown East’s Joey Johnson has been working for since he started playing baseball came to fruition on Monday.
Johnson, a senior at Morristown East, signed to continue his baseball career with Carson-Newman Monday morning in the Morristown East library.
“I’ve been working for this day my whole life,” Johnson said. “It feels weird that it is finally happening now, and it’s going to be so different after this high school year. But I am excited.”
Johnson will play in the outfield and pitch for the Eagles. After considering his options, he chose Carson-Newman because of its closeness to home after moving around for a lot of his childhood.
“I wanted to be close to my family,” Johnson said. “My dad is in the Air Force, so I have been moving around all my life. So, I just wanted to stay close. And I feel really good with the culture that they have a that school.”
Before Johnson joins C-N, he will first finish out his senior season with the Hurricanes. Morristown East is coming off an 11-21 record that saw them lose in the District 2-AAA Tournament.
Johnson hopes to work on his pitching and arm strength during his senior season and is excited to have one last year with his high school teammates.
“I’m really excited for it (his senior season),” Johnson said. “I am just going to go out there and do my thing and show out. Just because I signed with Carson-Newman doesn’t mean I don’t need to be still working out there and competing.”
Johnson will be joining a successful Carson-Newman team that went 31-18 last season and lost in the SAC Championship. Historically, the Eagles have fielded a successful program with 23 All-Americans and 22 MLB Draft Picks.
Johnson will have a chance to compete immediately next season, with three of the team’s seniors on this year’s team being pitchers.
For now, Johnson is locked in on the present and helping his Morristown East team as much as possible.
“Sometimes I feel like I am already going to Carson-Newman just because I signed,” Johnson said. “I forget that I still have a senior season left. But I am excited for it (the season) and competing with my teammates.”
Johnson and the Hurricanes will start their season in mid-March, looking for a better outcome than last season. Carson-Newman kicks their season off in late January where they will battle the cold temperatures in a game against Limestone at 4 p.m. on Jan. 31.