Isaac Humphrey is one step closer to achieving his dream.
The Owensboro High School senior will officially continue his baseball career at the next level after signing with the University of Louisville in a ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the high school.
"Ever since you're playing Little League, you see these college guys on TV and you see them go to the leagues," said Humphrey, a 6-foot-3 pitcher-outfielder. "College is that first step to the MLB, so it's a dream I've had since I was a little kid and I knew what it really meant."
Humphrey will join a Louisville program that went 51-18 last season and made its deepest postseason run in program history, winning a pair of games in the College World Series and finishing as one of the last four teams remaining.
"It's the best school in the country," Humphrey said. "Every year, they're top five in baseball in rankings. Coach (Dan) McDonnell runs a phenomenal program up there. They just do a great job with everything -- player development, getting to the draft -- they do a phenomenal job with everything they do.
"I've been waiting for this day for two or three years now. To finally get it behind me, to get it on paper and get it official, that's the best thing there is. It's amazing."
Owensboro baseball coach Logan Johnson, a former star for the Cardinals, knows first-hand what type of environment Humphrey will walk into.
"The atmosphere, as far as a sense of community and a team atmosphere and everyone pulling for each other, and the belief and faith in each other is definitely something that I'd never experienced before," Johnson said. "My senior year is when Coach McDonnell took over, and that trend has just continued on.
"That culture is definitely what sets their program apart. He's gonna fit in nicely there and hopefully build off what he's done here at OHS. The sky's the limit."
Humphrey was joined in the signing ceremony by teammates Nick Belcher (Southern Indiana), Kobe Coomes (Georgetown), Braxton French (Southern Indiana) and Tucker Hagan (Lincoln Memorial).
According to Johnson, it's a group of seniors that has provided "invaluable" leadership over the years.
"Since seventh grade, these guys have been in the program," he said. "That type of experience and continuity just means the world to a program, especially one where we started out young, and now these guys have developed. As they've gotten older, they're teaching the younger kids what work ethic is.
"These guys -- having that leadership quality that they don't have to go to a kid and yell at them to work hard, they bring them along with them to work hard -- that's really special and something that you really can't teach. That's embedded in their DNA, and these guys are invaluable to our program."
And, Humphrey added, they aren't done yet.
"We look to make some big moves this year," he said. "We got over the hump a little bit this past year, making it to the region, but we're hoping we can make it a little farther than that and see what we can do."