PELL CITY -- Pell City’s Jack Wood signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at Talladega College.
Wood signed Monday. Wood was forced to sign at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced schools in the state to go to virtual learning.
For the 6-foot-5 pitcher, playing baseball on the next level is something he has always wanted to accomplish. Wood is grateful Talladega College gave him a chance to turn his dream into a reality.
“It is a good opportunity,” Wood said. “I worked really hard. Moving to Pell City really helped me; the coaches there made me a lot better. It was a good opportunity.”
Wood transferred to Class 6A Pell City last summer after leading 4A Lincoln to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Last season was also the first time in 19 years Lincoln hosted a first-round playoff series.
Lincoln reaching the postseason played a role in Wood getting on the Tornadoes’ radar for the 2020 recruiting class.
Wood credits his former teammate and current Talladega College pitcher, Garrett Vick, for making this opportunity possible.
“I had a buddy to go there; he actually went to Lincoln,” Wood said. “He talked to the coach about me, and they had a lot of interest in me.
“The coronavirus stuff messed up the recruiting process. My senior season was supposed to be my breakout year. I didn’t get out there really, but Talladega really wanted me. I feel really good about going there. I heard that it is a really good school and I really like the coach.”
Talladega College head baseball coach Marco Dominguez was impressed with what he saw from Wood when he saw him pitch.
The fourth-year coach and former Talladega College standout pitcher believes Wood has the potential to make an immediate impact.
“He throws a lot of strikes. He is a guy with a pretty good build, he has good command on his secondary pitches, so that’s what impressed me. This kid has a lot of talent, but he also has a lot of room to get better. He is 80 to 85 miles per hour right now. He can throw his slider for a strike when he wants to and he can throw his fastball for a strike. He is someone that is really going to help us.”
Wood and the Panthers were 5-8 on the season when it ended March 9.
Wood had a strong outing in what turned out to be his last game as a high school pitcher. Wood struck out six and allowed one hit in five innings in the Panthers’ 12-0 win over Pleasant Grove.
“We had a really good team, and I thought that we were going to go really far in the playoffs,” Wood said. “We had a good year for what we had.”
Pell City head coach Andrew Tarver is proud of Wood for earning this honor.
“Jack can pitch and play any position on the field,” Tarver said. “He has tremendous upside with his 6-foot-5 frame. He is an extreme competitor on the field. He is the type of kid that will give you everything he has every day.”
Wood said the Tornadoes are getting a student-athlete who is eager to be successful on and off the diamond.
“They are getting a hard worker,” Wood said. “I always try to work hard in the weight room; I am always trying to get better. I also work hard in the classroom, too. I am always trying to get my grades because if I don’t, I will not be able to play.”
Wood is grateful for everyone who played a role in making this opportunity possible.
“I would like to thank Coach (Andrew) Tarver, Coach David (Collins), my dad, especially, because he put a lot of time and money in,” he said. “I would also like to thank my mom.”