By Laura Amato
It was a pretty good 24 hours for the McClancy baseball team.
Crusaders standouts Quentin Holmes and Charlie Neuweiler both heard their names called in this year’s MLB Draft as both were selected in the second and fifth round by the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals, respectively.
It was a historic moment for the program. Holmes became the earliest New York City selection in over two decades on the first day of the draft Monday night. Neuweiler’s phone call on Tuesday put a cap on a season that was nothing short of dominant for the duo.
“It was just utter excitement,” Holmes said. “I couldn’t think of who to thank first. I had my close family and friends there with me and the first thing I could do is just jump for joy.”
Holmes and Neuweiler exchanged text messages in between rounds and offered words of support while realizing their respective dreams, but for the most part, the two senior stars took the chance to savor the moment with their immediate families.
Neuweiler got the call at home with his mom, dad and twin brother, Ryan, wanting it to be just the four of them when his phone rang.
“We’re going to have my family come over afterwards, just because I wasn’t sure how crazy it was going to get,” Neuweiler said. “I wasn’t really sure where I was going to end up. I’m not the guy who was going to be upset if I didn’t get picked today, but I didn’t want to have people over and have them feel like that. I just kind of wanted to wait for it to happen.”
It was a whirlwind of a spring for both Neuweiler and Holmes, who drew a small army of Major League scouts every time they suited up for the Crusaders. Both were confident they’d be selected in the draft, but Neuweiler was quick to point out that becoming a professional baseball player is still just a bit overwhelming.
“It’s been my dream since I’ve been little, just to go and play baseball for the Major Leagues and now that it’s actually coming true and I’m actually going to play for a Major League team, it’s unbelievable,” Neuweiler said. “It’s such a big confidence booster in myself and the only thing I can do now is keep working harder and trying to improve my game any way I can to get the next level.”
Holmes, a Mississippi State commit, was touted as the fastest player in this year’s draft class, but said he wasn’t sure of his decision quite yet.
“We’re not done yet. I haven’t gone anywhere yet, haven’t signed any papers yet, haven’t made any verbal agreements yet,” he said. “It definitely is tough. I just got the workout schedule for the summer from the Missisippi state coach, so I’ve been looking at that and talking to my advisor.”
Neuweiler, who originally committed to LIU Brooklyn last year, is expected to sign, but said he’s still discussing the next steps with regional scouts and Royals’ personnel.
No matter where they end up, however, both Neuweiler and Holmes are proud of everything they accomplished at McClancy and the history they’ve made with the program over the last few years. They’re each ready to take the next step, but they’re leaving behind a legacy they know future players will build on.
“We have ourselves to thank, our families, our friends, but also coach [Nick] Melito,” Neuweiler said. “He was a big part in this. The way he coached, the way he took care of us. I know, especially, for me, he’s like my second dad. So he’s a big part of this too and it’s a way to give back to him and just let him know to keep doing what he’s doing.”