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Brookwood's Joshua McDaniel will play at Stillman


Brookwood's Joshua McDaniel signed on Friday to continue his baseball career at Stillman College, where he will play for coach Donny Crawford. (Photo by ANDREW CARROLL | THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS)


BROOKWOOD | Catchers are supposed to be tough, and Joshua McDaniel proved his mettle last season with the Brookwood High School baseball team.

A broken collarbone kept him out for only two weeks, and he returned to help the Panthers make their run to the third round of the AHSAA Class 5A playoffs.

McDaniel signed on Friday to continue his career at Stillman College, where he will play for coach Donny Crawford.

“It means a lot to sign this early,” McDaniel said. “It gives me my entire senior year to put everything into Brookwood baseball and get us back to the third round and try to go further than that and beat Spanish Fort.

“It takes a lot off of me, wondering who’s in the stands and where I’m going to play at. Now I can just go play for Brookwood and just be who I am and not worry about who’s out there.”

McDaniel said he chose Stillman because he wanted to be part of a successful program. Crawford has won six Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships coaching the Tigers. His 2012 team went 21-0 against SIAC competition and posted the school’s first wins in the NCAA Division II South Regional. Stillman won the SIAC title last spring and advanced to another regional appearance.

“They do very well in baseball,” McDaniel said. “That’s one of their strong points.

“I don’t want to get away from the things that my coach (Jeff Bell) has taught and the way that Coach Crawford teaches. They’re basically the same thing. He’s going to push me just like my coach did to get the best out of me.

“I just want to thank Coach Bell for everything that he’s done for me. He may get on me pretty hard sometimes, but I know that’s for love.”

The 2014 season will be McDaniel’s fourth with the Brookwood varsity.

“I’ve always really been a catcher, but I’ve played five different positions with the varsity,” McDaniel said. “I like to be the guy in control. I like to help out my team and show leadership and tell people what to do.”

Bell said there’s a possibility McDaniel could be a relief pitcher on occasion.

“He would be a quality arm, but he’s more valuable behind the plate for us right now,” Bell said. “That’s penciled in, catching and hitting third every day.

“He reads hitters, and I think he would be able to call a game on his own. If he needs to go out to the mound and talk to the pitcher, he can do that too.

“He’s pretty tough. That’s another of his strong qualities. The day he came back (from the collarbone injury), I think we went on a pretty good run after that. He blocks well, receives well and throws well. Everything he does is very big for our program.”

McDaniel said he hasn’t decided on a major, but he is considering chemical engineering and accounting.

 

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