BEEKMANTOWN - Frank M. Buksa is going to the University at Albany.
The Beekmantown Central High School senior signed his official letter of intent Nov. 18 to matriculate to the Division I school next fall. Surrounded by family and school staff, Buksa said he was excited to be attending the State University of New York school to play college-level baseball.
Buksa was first drawn to the school when he practiced for the Empire State Games last summer.
"I was like, 'Wow, I should come and play baseball here. I can already hit home runs out of here,'" said Buksa.
It wasn't long after University at Albany coaches saw him practice that he was contacted about his interest in attending the four-year school, said Buksa. However, Buksa and his family did their homework before committing to the school, traveling as far as California to check out other schools that would offer a quality education and a chance for the star catcher to see some playing time. In the end, Albany offered what Buksa wanted.
"I loved it," Buksa said of touring the campus. "I felt really comfortable with the coaches. They seem like old friends. I like them. I had a good vibe with them."
"We liked everything," Buksa's father, Frank A., said of the college. "And, with being a SUNY school with athletic scholarship money makes it financially a very good move also."
Buksa's mother, Brenda, agreed, adding she was happy the school was only about three hours away.
"My dad just loves it, too," she said. "He can't wait to got watch him play. We all can't wait to go watch him play. It's going to be great."
James Knight Jr., who had coached Buksa for the last three years, said he was proud of him for the hard work he has put into being a standout student athlete.
"It's been phenomenal working with the family, watching him progress as a ballplayer and as a person," said Knight. "It's amazing and a reward that he deserves."
"Who knows what the next level will be," Knight added.
As far as Buksa is concerned, he's not too worried, so long as he's playing the game he loves.
"Whether that be single A, double A or [Major League Baseball], I want to play. I just love it," he said.
For now, Buksa said he's looking forward to his final season as a Beekmantown Eagle.
"Hopefully we get back to the state tournament like we have been the last two years. A threepeat wouldn't be too bad for a senior year," said Buksa, smiling.