Grayson Willis’ dream of playing on the next level became a reality on Monday afternoon. The Pell City standout signed scholarship papers to play baseball at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn.
“I feel amazing,” Willis said. “I am thankful for the opportunity because with COVID I didn’t know if I would get the chance to get looked at and play at the next level. Now that I am signed to play college ball, I feel amazing.”
Willis had a connection to the team before stepping on campus due to knowing one of the coaches. Having someone there that he is familiar with played a role in his decision to sign with Martin Methodist.
“I know one of the assistant coaches there,” he said. “I played for him probably two summers ago on a travel team. I have known him for a while. I came down there for a workout and when I went down there I liked the atmosphere there. I thought that it would be a good place for me. I really liked it there.”
Pell City interim head coach David Collins said that Willis is very deserving of this accomplishment.
“Grayson is one of the hardest-working kids that I have had in these four years,” Collins said. “He was a little bit undersized starting out, but he worked every single day to get bigger and stronger. I think he is going to be successful in whatever he tries to do. I think next year at Martin, he is going to put pressure on guys in the infield. I know recently in summer ball he has transitioned to playing some other positions as well. I think his bat is going to help him find the field and also his versatility on the field as he moves forward. He started out as an undersized guy and he has improved into a great athlete.”
Willis had a solid senior campaign as he recorded a .305 batting average with 11 RBIs for the Panthers.
This year was full of adjustments for Willis. Off the field, he had to adjust to the changes in school due to COVID-19. He also had to deal with changes on the diamond as he moved to a new position.
“I played shortstop this year which was an adjustment for me,” Willis said. “I usually play second base. Playing short this year it is a longer throw and you have to cover more ground. It was tough, but I adjusted to it. I really love playing shortstop; it is probably my favorite position now. I had a pretty good year at the plate, it is probably the best my swing has ever felt.”
For Willis, his goal is to be successful in the classroom and on the diamond at Martin Methodist.
“I just want to make my family proud and my coaches proud,” Willis said. “I want to do everything that I can to show them how good Pell City is.”
Willis is grateful for everyone that played a role in making this opportunity possible.
“I thank my parents for everything that they have done over the years and everything that they sacrificed,” he said. “I thank all of my coaches. Without them, I would not be here today. If you would have looked at me when I was a freshman you wouldn’t have thought that I was a college material player. They worked with me every day to get me where I am now. I thank my grandfather too, he is my biggest fan. He has coached me ever since I was little. I thank my teammates as well. They pushed me hard every day.”