By Erik Harris
PINSON – From little league coaches to high school coaches and every coach in between, many people played a part in Pinson Valley seniors Baker Hodge and Gage Farley signing baseball scholarships to Calhoun Community College on Thursday.
As Hodge and Farley looked out at the crowd watching them ink down their baseball future at Pinson Valley High School, they saw several of those responsible for forming them into college baseball players.
“I don’t know how many parents can say this, but every coach that Baker has had in his life has pointed him in the right direction and helped develop him into the best he can be,” said Hodge’s mom, Gail.
Shane Chappell, entering his third season as the Indians head coach, thanked every parent and former coach for their roll in developing his two seniors. The twin signing marks his 16th and 17th players to further their playing careers to the college level in his short time at Pinson Valley.
Chappell hopes to have five more players sign by the end of the upcoming season.
“My goal is after these three years we’ll have 22 players playing college baseball, which is sort of unheard of, but it just speaks to the talent that’s here at Pinson,” Chappell said.
Hodge and Farley hope to continue playing their current positions at Calhoun in the future. Hodge starts at second base for the Indians, while Farley starts at catcher.
Although both were underclassmen when Chappell arrived for his first season at Pinson Valley in 2013, Hodge and Farley caught their new coach’s attention from the start.
“When I first got here they were both sophomores and you could already tell that those guys had some tools,” Chappell said.
He added that the biggest area of improvement for both guys has come in their leadership ability and willingness to hold guys accountable to the standards of the program.