Baseball and the Childers family go hand-in-hand.
Westside pitcher Matt Childers became the second member of his family to sign a baseball letter of intent with Georgia on Thursday joining older brother, Terry Jr., who was once a Bulldog catcher.
"I'm happy for him," said Westside baseball coach Gerald Barnes. "Georgia is an excellent place and is a good baseball program.
The 6-foot-5, 185-pound senior was 10-3 with a 2.13 earned run average last season for the Patriots. He struck out 90 batters in 83 innings.
Matt's father played catcher with minor league farm clubs of the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Montreal Expos before calling it quits with Class AAA Memphis in 1975.
Childers is the younger brother of Terry and Jason Childers, who led their respective schools to national titles. Terry was the catcher on Georgia's 1990 national championship team. Jason was the ace pitcher on Kennesaw State's Division II national title team last year and compiled a 12-0 record, including a seven-hitter in the championship game victory over St. Joseph's, Ind.
Another brother, Scott, played at South Georgia Junior College and was the ace at Kennesaw State during his stint.
All four Childers brothers played at Westside under Barnes. When Westside won back-to-back state titles in 1987-88, Terry pitched and Scott caught the championship games and Matt, then 10 years old, was the batboy.
The youngest sibling, Kelly, is a promising freshman softball player at Westside.
"The kids have always enjoyed playing around the ballpark," Terry Sr. said. "I'm not a big fisherman or hunter, so our effort was always into baseball. I never pushed them into anything. I guess they just liked it."
Coach Barnes, 429-120 in 21 seasons at Westside, said the work ethic is what he will remember most about the four Childers brothers.
"They all worked hard and liked to play," Barnes said. "You can have ability and not work hard at it, but these guys all worked hard to get better. And they're good kids."
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