Panama City, FL---Gulf Coast State College is just seven and a half miles away from Rutherford High School, but the path Dondrayas Harris has taken to get to point A from point B, is huge.
Rising to the next level in his baseball career, the former Ram turned Commodore is enjoying the moments, the memories, the people, and the game.
The son of Panama City, before Dondrayas Harris even swapped his black and yellow for blue and yellow, the community had his back.
"I actually noticed it before I got out on the field," says Harris. "People always came up and told me that they were going to come out to the games or I'll see somebody in the store, or they'll see me and ask me am I Dondrayas from Gulf Coast. So it's pretty cool."
But the best part of playing at home for Harris is staying close to loved ones.
"I still have my family's support so I always can depend on them if I'm in trouble, or if I'm feeling bad, or having a bad time. I know I can talk to them and they'll still be close and I can have their comfort with me."
Halfway through his first Juco season, Harris already has made an impact on the clubhouse.
"What Dondrayas Harris brings more than anything everyday is energy, effort, and he's just a great teammate," says Gulf Coast head coach Mike Kandler. "He's a very good player but just such a good teammate. He's just kind of infectious. When he's around, he's gonna be in a great mood and he's gonna pick everyone else up."
His favorite moment so far came on just the second pitch of his first ever at bat; going deep for his only homer.
"I was just running to second base and thought it was a ground rule double, so I was coming back to the base. Then I had seen the umpire waving his finger around as a home run, I was kind of shocked. I was just smiling.
Dondrayas is looking forward to making more memories at Gulf Coast and beyond.
"I'm very excited because baseball is a game that I love to play and to have an opportunity at the next level, it's a blessing."
Entering Wednesday night, Harris has played in 24 of GC's 33 games, posting an on-base percentage over .400 with that one homer and 19 runs scored.