It’s always noteworthy when a High School Senior commits to play at the next level, but what is going on in Jackson this season is truly something special.
The Indians Varsity Baseball team has 12 Seniors on the roster this year, and (at least for now) an astounding eight of those 12 have already committed to playing college ball. That is the largest number in school history and loudly speaks to the success of this program over the last few years.
A dozen 12th graders on a roster is fortuitous enough for any competitive High School team, but this Jackson squad has the luxury of two thirds of them already committed to taking their baseball talents to the next level. That usually translates to them being in the GREAT-EXCEPTIONAL category throughout their Senior campaign.
And don’t be surprised in the slightest if the other four are signing letters of intent themselves at some point this year.
Ameritime Sports caught up with these eight committed Seniors and asked them about where they are signed on to play next year, why they chose those destinations and what being an Indian has meant to them on their road to success.
Here are their responses, some verbose and some cut and dry, but all meaningful.
HENLEY PARKER (Shortstop) Jefferson College
“I signed to Jefferson College (Jeffco) because I love the coaching staff and the environment. The team always has a lot of success and that’s where I want to be.
Being an Indian is a big accomplishment especially with us being really good. We play a lot of really good teams and it makes all of us better and prepares us to play at the next level.”
QUINTON BORDERS (Third Baseman/Pitcher) Crowder Community College
“I signed at Crowder because they’re good at developing players and it’s a great fit for me.
Being an Indian has made an impact because the players and community have pushed me to want to become great.”
KADEN KENDLE (Pitcher) State Fair Community College
“I signed with State Fair because they felt like the best fit for me. They have had a lot of success and are very dedicated to developing their guys to insure they can get closer to becoming the best player they can be. They also find it very important to get their guys to 4-year universities afterwards.
I have had a handful of great coaches ever since I was 7 when I started playing Tribe ball all the way up through my High School career. I’ve also become very close with many of my teammates. We take it upon ourselves to not only push ourselves, but also to push each other on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom. We value each other’s success just as much as our own, and that is a huge reason why many of us are getting the opportunity to continue playing ball at the next level.”
DYLAN HAYMAN (Outfielder LF/RF) State Fair Community College
“I signed with State Fair because of what they could turn me into as a man and as a player. The baseball team at State Fair has had plenty of transfers to the higher level and even had a kid sign to a MLB team as a Freshman. So as a player, this really helped me decide that this place can make me better in all aspects of the sport and my personal life.
Being an Indian baseball player has changed my life and my family, knowing this baseball team is great and the community is even better. Indian baseball impacted my recruiting path for the way they have helped me get my name out to coaches so more coaches could know me.”
CADEN BOGENPOHL (Outfielder/Pitcher) Missouri State University
“The biggest reason I signed with MO State is because of the coaches. I haven’t heard a bad thing about them, and they are invested in you.
Playing for Jackson is special. It’s a special environment, thanks to all the fans, coaches and students. They push you everyday to become a better player and person.”
GRANT DOTSON (Outfielder LF/CF/RF) Three Rivers Community College
“I signed there because they are a very successful JUCO program that is close to home. I also love the coaches and facilities that are offered there.
Playing for Jackson is a very special environment. You are pushed everyday by your teammates and coaches to better your skills and become the best version of yourself on and off the field.”
STEVEN SCHNEIDER (Outfielder CF) Maryville University
“I signed with them because they have a reputable physical therapy program which is what I want to do for my career. Also, they have lots of technology they use to help develop their players. It just checked all the boxes for me.
Being an Indian baseball player has helped me be able to compete at the next level by helping me lift regularly and providing me with some great coaching throughout the years.”
BADEN HACKWORTH (Catcher) St. Louis University
“I am committed to SLU. I loved the fact that it’s in a big city, but felt close to home and the field is just two blocks away.
I transferred to Jackson right before I committed, so it didn’t really factor into my decision for where I signed, but I love this team and this organization. It’s definitely helped me get to the next level.”
These eight talented ballplayers still have a year of High School ball ahead of them, but they have already punched their ticket to the next level. We expect bright futures and big things from all of these Indians, but don’t sleep on the other four Seniors on the 2023 roster. Landon Watkins, Jackson Wyatt, Colton Hartle and Clayton Ernst all may have suitors as the season progresses.
It appears that playing at Jackson has a direct effect on playing at the next level.
Good luck this year boys, and bring home some hardware.