By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- Central's football program has come a long way over the last four seasons, and another product of that was shown on Wednesday as the Falcons had two players sign letter of intent's on National Signing Day. Central's Hayden Bauserman signed with Alderson-Broaddus, and josh Gum signed with Glenville State. Both are Division II schools.
Central held a signing ceremony for both players in the school's library late Wednesday afternoon.
Bauserman said he looked at several schools, but really liked what he saw when he visited Alderson-Broaddus' campus this past weekend.
"I love the coaching staff. I love the campus. I met some of the players and all of them are pretty cool," Bauserman said. "This school really jumped out at me, and I really enjoyed it."
The 6-foot-3 quarterback said he was also looking at U.Va.-Wise and Shepherd University.
Gum said he was looking at other colleges, but after visiting Glenville State two weeks ago he felt it was the best fit.
"It really felt more like home to me," Gum said. "I visited six or seven schools, but at the end of the day I took a drive and kind of thought where could I see myself going for four year? And that's where I really felt like I could be the best and succeed the most -- enjoy it the most."
Alderson-Broaddus is a new football program, which just started in 2012. The Battlers were 4-7 last year with mostly freshman and sophomores and will be playing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Bauserman said he's hoping to have a chance to play right away.
"I'm definitely going to have to work a lot in the summer, because I'm going to have an opportunity to play as soon as I go in," Bauserman said. "They're a young team and they played a couple quarterbacks this year, so they're looking for that one quarterback to play. So, I'm definitely going to have to work hard in the offseason to get ready."
The Battlers run the spread offense, which is what Central used a lot of the time. Bauserman threw for 2,764 yards and 34 touchdowns last year for the Falcons. He broke many of Central's passing records during his career, including most career passing yards (6,596) and career touchdown passes (74).
Bauserman said it's a great feeling knowing that he's going to play at the next level.
"It's definitely been a dream of mine to play at the next level, and Division II football and the conference that Alderson-Broaddus is going into -- it's really good football. It will be exiting to see what it's like."
Gum was also looking at colleges such as Shepherd University, Shippensburg University, and walk-on offers at VMI and Richmond.
Glenville State went 6-5 last year and play in the Mountain East Conference. Gum said the coaching staff said that Gum could be starting right away for the Pioneers.
"[The coaches] said they want to come in and start the first year I'm there," Gum said, "That was the biggest difference between them and Shepherd. Shepherd wanted me to red-shirt. If I can come in and [Glenville State] wants me to start right off the bat, I'm not going to go somewhere where I got to wait a year and just be a practice dummy."
The 6-foot-3 offensive lineman was a first team All-3A East Region selection, and helped the Falcons run for more than 2,000 yards.
Gum said he will also be running track next year for the Pioneers. He said it's a relief to have the recruiting process done and know that he will play at the Division II level.
"For me just to be able to play four more years, and be able to put those pads back on, really means the world to me," Gum said. "It's a great feeling knowing that the last time I put my pads on for our last playoff game isn't going to be the last time I'm going to play. I got four more years. It's definitely a good feeling."
Central coach Mike Yew said he believes Bauserman and Gum made the right decisions.
"I think for both of them they made a very good decision, and it will be a good fit for both of them," Yew said. "I think they're both going to be productive college players, I really do."
Yew said having two players sign on Signing Day is great for the team.
"It's a big day for everything associated with Central," Yew said. "It's a big day for the program. It's a big day for Central High School. It's a big day for our coaches, everybody involved."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd