Goss, a catcher prior to this year, has signed to play baseball for Samford University, an NCAA Division I program in Birmingham, Ala. The Purple Hurricane will get an opportunity to leave his mark as a freshman, one of the draws to the Bulldog program.
"I like how it's not too far away from home, but it's still far enough. They got a good and upcoming program. It just felt right," said Goss, who praised Samford's campus and coaching staff. "They expect me to come out and get some good playing time as a freshman. That was another reason why I wanted to go there."
Like he has done with Cartersville, Goss will play catcher and first base, the latter a position he has excelled at this season.
"He has done a great job at first base. He moved from a catching position to first base, unselfishly. [He] worked hard, and that's where we needed to put him and he had no problem with that," Canes coach Stuart Chester said.
"It's been good," Goss added of the position switch. "It's been good, got a lot of help from the coaches. They've just been with me and taught me a lot more about first base so I can help the team."
It hasn't just been on defense that Goss has delivered for a team that returned just two starters from last year. He also has been a reliable cog in the middle of the order. Cartersville, 17-5 overall, could have used Goss' bat last Friday in a 5-0 defeat to Region 7-AAA leader Ringgold.
"We missed him so much Friday night against Ringgold, of course, defensively and offensively but just the presence on the field. We have a lot of things we do with runners on, and he's always looking to make pickoffs, just kind of controlling the game mentally," said Chester, who was excited to have Goss back for Monday night's game against Allatoona after he collided with a teammate last Thursday on a foul ball in practice.
The Canes could have used in a game where they managed four hits against the Tigers' Corey Kafka.
"He is in the middle of the order, and you gotta understand, when you lose a bat out of the order like his, everybody else around him kind of drops off because you don't have to pitch around him," Chester continued. "He bats in the 4 slot. The 5, 6, 7 [hitters], the 3 [hitter] in front, they all get better pitches because of Mike, especially 1, 2, 3. You don't want runners on with him coming to the plate. Therefore, [pitchers are] gonna throw strikes, and [our players] get [an] opportunity to get better pitches as well. When he's out of the lineup, it affects more than just the 4 spot hitting."
The Bulldogs, 25-15 heading into today's game with Alabama, will get the type of production from Goss, on the field and away from it, that Cartersville's longtime head coach has gotten from him as a prep player.
"He'll produce runs. He'll be play great defense. He'll be an academic all-American. He'll take Samford's program and lead and take 'em to the next level. He's that caliber of a player and person," Chester said of Goss. "He brings a lot of talent to the plate, but he could be the poster child for what you would want your baseball program to be like -- excellent grades, excellent character, class, just the type person that you want to be around.
"He's worked hard. He's got baseball talent. He's, if not the best, one of the best hitters on our team."
Goss understands life as a Samford baseball player won't come easy, but he's more than ready after playing for the Georgia Dugout Club's Program of the Decade.
"Coach Chester's always preached about it will get worse before it gets better, and I think I've really learned a lot from that, that you can't let one at-bat carry on to the next, and that's really gonna help me when I get over in college," Goss said. "If I go 0 for 2 and I come up with the game on the line, you know, I gotta be able to shake it off. And I think coach Chester's really helped me to deal with adversity but not accept it."