LOUISBURG -- From the first day, Louisburg High School baseball coach Al Bolton knew he had a special player in catcher Christian Allen.
Allen was an instant starter behind the plate as a ninth-grader -- and it's rare that you see freshmen in that type of leadership position on the high school level.
Allen hopes to follow a similar path to success in college as he has signed a letter-of-intent to join the baseball program at Chowan University, a Division II school located in Murfreesboro.
"Christian is a great student, so he got a really nice academic/athletic (monetary) package to go to Chowan,'' Bolton said. "From everything I hear, Chowan is going to give him the opportunity to play right away.
"(LHS assistant coach Brett Garrett) played at Chowan, and he feels like Christian has the ability to be successful there.''
Allen, especially known for his defensive and leadership attributes, was a two-time All-Northern Carolina Conference selection for the Warriors -- and was expected to add a third all-league honor to his career list this spring before the season ended due to COVID-19 concerns.
"Christian made tremendous improvement with his bat from his freshman to his senior years,'' Bolton said. "He just worked so hard -- he was always willing to do stuff on his own or to stay after practice. He is just an all-around great kid.''
Allen worked with a strong pitching staff during his time at Louisburg, including standouts Jaheim Brown and Cale Bolton.
"Christian was great at handling pitchers,'' Bolton said. "If the pitcher even came close to holding a runner on first base, there was a good chance Christian would be able to throw him out stealing.
"Defensively, he was as good a catcher as a freshman that I have ever had at Louisburg.''