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Sipsey Valley's Jolly signs with Shelton State


Collin Jolly, a shortstop and pitcher for Sipsey Valley, will play collegiately at Shelton State. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter | Tuscaloosa News)


BUHL | Collin Jolly made history Wednesday by signing his name.

Jolly, a senior, became the first Sipsey Valley High School baseball player to sign a college scholarship. A shortstop and right-handed pitcher, Jolly chose Shelton State Community College.

Sipsey Valley opened in the fall of 2010, and Jolly was a member of the school’s first baseball team in the spring of 2011.

"It was a privilege," Jolly said. "I was really excited. I know I’m not going to be the last one. There’s plenty of people here that can play at the next level. I’m just lucky enough to be the first one."

Jolly said he expects to get a shot at playing third base or shortstop for Shelton State coach Bobby Sprowl.

"They get to the (JUCO) World Series just about every year," Jolly said. "They have a really good tradition down there. I remember going to their camps when I played T-ball and always wanting to go there. When they gave me the chance, I wasn’t hesitant to take it at all.

"They really want to use me on the left side of the infield, but I’ve got to go out and prove it to them in practice that I can do it. They’d like to look at me for pitching a little bit in case they need me. We’ll see how that goes. (Sprowl) is one of the best pitching coaches in the state."

Jolly (3-2) might get a chance to pitch this weekend as the Bears host Thorsby in an AHSAA Class 3A playoff series.

"We’ve got playoffs starting Friday, and we’re looking to make it all the way to the state championship in Montgomery," Jolly said.

Sipsey Valley coach P.J. Guy said Jolly usually hits in the No. 3 spot. He has a .348 average and leads the team with 27 RBIs.

"It’s very rewarding for me and everybody that’s involved with our program," Guy said. "Collin is a great representative of our program, and there’s nobody that deserves to be our first signee more than Collin. Not only his baseball game, but his academics and how he is on and off the field, it’s very fulfilling for all of us to see him and his family here today because he deserves it.

"It’s good for me too. On off days I’ll definitely be trying to get on over there toward Taylorville to watch him play."

Guy described Jolly as "the most coachable kid I’ve ever coached."

"He’s an old-school kid," Guy said. "He comes to work every day, and he loves the game. That’s kind of hard to find sometimes in this day with kids. Every day, regardless if it’s at practice or in a game or in the batting cages, he’s trying to make his game better by how hard he works and by listening to me or the other coaches trying to work with him.

"He’s a very versatile player with his infield skills. He’s a three-pitch pitcher. He doesn’t beat you with velocity, but he beats you by hitting spots and doing what we ask our pitchers to do. That’s not to strike out hitters, but to make hitters get themselves out and let the defense play for you."

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.