PELL CITY -- Pell City High senior Canaan Garrett signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at Snead State during a ceremony at the school’s Center for Education and Performing Arts on Thursday afternoon.
Garrett said Bevill State Community College and Central Alabama Community College were among the schools he considered, but he made his decision after visiting Snead State.
“I wanted to go to Jacksonville State originally, and whenever Snead State started recruiting me, it caught my eye,” he said. “Snead is the (pipeline) college to JSU, so it made sense to go there.”
He added he’ll likely being playing second base or shortstop there, but he’s not opposed to playing any spot if it gets him on the field.
“(I’m looking forward) to the competitive atmosphere and two more years of baseball,” Garrett said.
Pell City head coach Andrew Tarver said Garrett has grown into his role as one of the elder statesmen on the roster.
“You can’t choose leaders on your team,” Tarver said. “The kids usually choose those guys, and he’s one of the leaders that our guys have chosen … He does a tremendous job on and off the field. He shows up every day and works extremely hard at his craft.”
Tarver added Snead State will get plenty from Garrett, who played third base as a sophomore and shortstop as a junior and senior.
“They’re getting a guy who has developed himself to be a college infielder,” Tarver said. “He has extremely fast hands and extremely fast feet. He has a really good arm to play in the infield, whether it’s at third, second or short. He’s a utility infield guy who can play anywhere.
“He has a solid stick at the plate as well. He battles. ... He can hit a curveball and a fastball. He does a tremendous job in the weight room on and off the field and does a good job for his teammates.”
In Garrett’s junior year, the Panthers reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs and hosted a home playoff series against No. 2-ranked Cullman. Pell City lost the series it two games (9-1, 5-3).
The Panthers clinched a 6A, Area 12 title with a 7-3 win over Pinson Valley on April 4 and secured a return trip to the postseason.
“Last year, we only had three seniors who were on the field,” Garrett said. “This year, we’ve got everyone back with a little bit more pitching and a little bit more experience. We worked out all fall. We should be ready to go in the playoffs.”
Win or lose come playoff time, Garrett said he’ll have great memories from his high school career.
“I’m going to miss hanging out with my friends every day, having a good time while grinding and having a pretty good baseball team,” he said.
Garrett said he plans to major in history and pursue a career in teaching and and coaching.