Smith-Cotton High School seniors Brayden Ballard and Brett Grupe have signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

Ballard, the son of Amy and Carl Ballard, is a three-year varsity baseball letter winner who also earned Second Team All-District honors in 2019 and Academic All-State recognition in 2018 and 2019.

Grupe, the son of Sarah and Brad Grupe, is an eight-time varsity letter winner, to date: three times each in baseball and football, and twice in basketball. In baseball, he was named the 2018 All-District catcher and earned Academic All-State recognition in 2018 and 2019.

In football, Grupe was honored as the All-District kicker/punter in 2017 and 2018, and was selected the All-State kicker in 2018; he also earned Academic All-State recognition in 2017, 1018 and 2019, and was a Tigers team captain.

S-C Baseball Head Coach Kyle Zimmerman said: “Brayden and Brett have been tremendous contributors to our success the past three years. Brayden is an incredible competitor who is our go-to guy on the mound. Brett’s competitive nature and leadership have been driving forces for our team. I'm really excited to get the chance to follow them closely at Central Missouri."

Sedalia School District 200

BALLARD: Smith-Cotton High School senior Brayden Ballard has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Seated with him are his father, Carl Ballard, and his mother, Amy Ballard; back, from left: S-C Principal Wade Norton, S-C baseball assistant coach Josh Dawson, S-C baseball head coach Kyle Zimmerman, S-C baseball assistant coach Alex Lang and S-C Athletic Director Rob Davis.

GRUPE: Smith-Cotton High School senior Brett Grupe has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Seated with him are his father, Brad Grupe, and his mother, Sarah Grupe; back, from left: S-C Principal Wade Norton, S-C baseball assistant coach Josh Dawson, S-C baseball head coach Kyle Zimmerman, sister Lauren Grupe, S-C baseball assistant coach Alex Lang and S-C Athletic Director Rob Davis.

GRUPEvsNEVADA: Smith-Cotton's Brett Grupe slides into third base during a game against Nevada in April 2018 at Liberty Park Stadium. Grupe has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Central Missouri.

Sedalia School District 200