HARPERSVILLE -- Zane Jantz signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tennessee.
Jantz signed Friday morning in the gymnasium of Coosa Valley Academy. Playing college baseball is a dream come true for Jantz.
“I am really excited because they see a lot of potential in me,” he said. “I am not really that big, so they are going to try to make me bigger and make me into a real athlete. Hopefully, I will be able to transfer to a Division I program. I really like the coach, he is really nice.”
The opportunity to turn his dream into a reality began in a travel ball tournament in Memphis, Tennessee.
“ He (JSCC head coach Michael Winders) was there talking to Coach RL (Langston) in the dugout,” Jantz said. “I dove after a ball that I didn't have to and stopped it from being a double. He liked my effort, so he decided to give me a look.
“When we played at Jackson State (Community College), he liked what he saw and he said that I had potential.”
The senior shortstop/pitcher put in a lot of hard work to earn the opportunity to play on the next level. Outside of playing school baseball, he devoted a few days a week on working on different aspects of the game.
“I went up to (Birmingham Baseball) Academy a lot,” he said. “I went to Pinson every Sunday and Wednesday. It (Birmingham Baseball) eventually moved down here to Harpersville. I would go down there to hit and build bat speed and velocity two days a week. It has really worked on my skills.”
Langston has worked with Jantz for the past two seasons at the Birmingham Baseball Academy. Langston now will work with Jantz at CVA.
Langston said Jantz is deserving of this opportunity.
“The thing about Zane is he has worked hard the last two years,” Langston said. “I tried to get it over to all kids that if you work hard enough, good things can happen for you.
“We are in an entitlement society where you want to do a little bit and get a lot out of it. Zane is a little bit different ... He came into work and did what we asked him to do. He showed up when he didn't have to show up, and that’s what makes players. “
Jantz thanked his dad for all the sacrifices he made to allow him to play baseball.
“I want to thank him for always being there and always going to work,” he said. “He worked a lot during non-baseball season, so during baseball season, he can be my coach. He has always been my coach even though he wasn’t a baseball player back in the day. He would always watch videos so he can learn how to teach me. I really appreciate that.”