- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox on Thursday celebrated 12 members of their own Amateur City Elite program that signed letters of intent to attend four-year universities.
The White Sox’s ACE program gives talented inner-city baseball players the chance to compete on a traveling team through the end of their high-school years, while also getting academic direction for each member. All 12 of the players who signed their letters of intent will receive athletic aid at the universities of their choice.
The program is open to members age 13-18. The 12 players to sign letters of intent Thursday means that since the inception of the ACE program, 80 athletes have gone on to play college baseball with six of those ultimately getting selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
“This is obviously related to baseball but at its core is about education and an opportunity,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Many of these kids may go on to play professionally, you never know, but at its heart, this is about an opportunity for education and improving the chances of a bright future.”
Players honored included: Matthew Cole (Rich Central High School, committing to Alcorn State University); Ronell Coleman (Simeon Career Academy; Vanderbilt University); Elbert Dunnigan (Simeon Career Academy; Alcorn State University); Robert Fletcher (Simeon Career Academy; Chicago State University); Jerry Houston (Mount Carmel High School; University of Oregon); Sanford Hunt (Kenwood Academy; Chicago State University); Regynold Johnson (Marian Catholic High School; University of Missouri); Tyler Johnson (Harlan Career Academy; Texas Southern University); Corey Ray (Simeon Career Academy; University of Louisville); Marcellus Sneed (Morgan Park High School; Alcorn State University); Terrell Steward (Harlan Career Academy; Chicago State University); Marshawn Taylor (Simeon Career Academy; Eastern Illinois University).
Club's ACE program sees a dozen players sign college letters of intent.