LINCOLN -- Dawson Jackson signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at Miles College in Fairfield.
Jackson signed during a ceremony Thursday morning in Lincoln High School’s gymnasium.
Jackson said he felt Miles was the right place for him to spend the next four years.
“I only went to two tryouts,” Jackson said. “I went to a tryout at Southern Union and Miles. The day after my tryout at Miles, the coach immediately said ‘We want you.’ I talked to my family, and we just think that this is the best. I am very excited to get there.”
Jackson said he was impressed with everything Miles had to offer when he visited.
“Before the tryout, I had never seen the school,” Jackson said. “We went and toured the school, and the campus is very nice. Everybody is really friendly, and it is a Division II (college).
“They play all their games at Rickwood Field, and that is something to look forward to. I have some buddies playing there. I have one that is from Lincoln that’s already there and I have two coming with me.”
Jeff Lumpkin has coached Jackson for the past two seasons at Lincoln. Lumpkin said he was thrilled Jackson will have a chance to get a good education while playing the game he loves.
“It is a huge accomplishment for Dawson,” Lumpkin said. “It is a lifelong dream of his to play baseball at the next level. He worked his tail off to get there. He has a good opportunity at Miles College.
“He is excited about it, and we are thrilled for him. Hopefully, this is something that will happen here at Lincoln High School year in and year out.”
The opportunity to sign didn’t look promising for Jackson just over a year ago. Jackson missed most of his junior season after having a pair of elbow surgeries.
The Golden Bears’ hurler worked hard in therapy to get back to a point where he could get back on the mound.
“It got to a point where I didn’t think that I was going to pitch again,” Jackson said. “My elbow was still hurting every time that I threw, but I rehabbed it and I finally got back where I needed to be.”
Jackson played a major role in leading Lincoln to its first area title and first home playoff series since 1999.
“We started out rough at the beginning of the season,” he said. “We won our area games and we swept the area. We made it to the playoffs, but it didn’t end the way we wanted it to (first-round loss to Cherokee County).
“This season was very special, and I am glad that I was a part of it my senior year.”
Lumpkin said Miles can expect Jackson to continue to have success in the classroom as well as on the diamond.
“They can expect a fantastic one (student-athlete),” Lumpkin said. “He has a 3.8 GPA and he made mid-20s on his ACT. He is solid in the classroom and he is solid on the field. He is definitely one of the best kids that I have had the privilege of coaching.”
Jackson said he is grateful for everyone who played a role in making his dream into a reality.
“I would like to thank my family,” he said. “I want to thank God for giving me the ability to do what I can do. I would like to thank Coach Lumpkin; he has helped me tremendously. I also want to thank my pitching coach, Trent Simpson. He has worked with me to get me where I need to be. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”