PELL CITY – Former Pell City standout Dylan Calhoun made the most of the opportunity he was given at Snead State this past season. Calhoun joined the team as a walk-on, but with hard work he proved that he was one of the best players in the nation as he earned honorable mention All-American honors on the NJCAA Division I Baseball All-American Team.
“It was incredible,” Calhoun said of the honor. “It was a God thing for sure. I never thought I could say I was an All-American.”
Calhoun originally signed with Arkansas Pine Bluff out of high school, but he transferred after the season. As a freshman, he showed glimpses of his talent at the plate. In three of the eight games that he played he batted over .300. He also had a pair of games where he drove in two runs.
“It was seven hours away, the school wasn’t a good fit for me all around, so I decided to come home,” Calhoun said. “I actually didn’t know where I was going to school, but luckily one of my friends, Landon (Smith), was going to Snead and he asked me if I wanted to room with him. I talked to the coach and they would let me walk on and give me a shot. All of my thanks goes to them for giving me a shot to play, and that’s what they did.”
Calhoun’s baseball future was in doubt after he left Arkansas Pine Bluff. At Snead, Calhoun had to earn his way on the field. He said he went to the diamond early every day to put in extra work.
“It was a lot of work,” he said. “Me and Landon worked every day. We would go out to the field early with a bunch of other guys and hit. Coach Casey Underwood helped me out a lot with my swing and a lot with the mental side of it. He taught me not to get frustrated if you have a bad outing, and looking for your pitch to drive. I owe a lot of it to him and Coach Ledford for helping me out.”
Snead State finished the 2014 season with a 32-25 record and went 16-11 in conference play.
Calhoun played a major role in their success, as he had the fourth highest batting average in the Alabama Community College Conference. He recorded a .403 batting average and had 22 RBI. He led the team with 14 stolen bases. For his efforts, he received All-American honorable mention and was named to the Southeastern District Baseball Team. He was also named to the Alabama Community College Conference All-Region and All-North teams.
“I was all conference, All-State and honorable mention All-American,” Calhoun said. “It was a good season for me. Things went my way. … It was just a good season.”
Calhoun will be an outfielder for UNA next season, which is something that he has wanted since graduating in 2012.
“I am really excited,” Calhoun said. “It is a school that I wanted to go to since I was a senior in high school. UNA was one of my top choices, so I am really excited. I haven’t heard anything but good things about them. I have never heard anything bad about them; they have a good baseball program. Hopefully, everything will work out up there.”
Calhoun said his most memorable moment at Snead State came in a loss.
“We lost, but it was the most intense game that I have been a part of,” Calhoun said. “It was against Alabama Southern in the second round of the state tournament. We lost in the 10th inning on a bases-loaded three-run double. We were up by two runs and we lost. It was the most memorable, but it was also the hardest. That was the best team that I have ever played on. I loved every one of the guys and everything about that year was great.”