Springville senior Ivan Cornelius signed a baseball scholarship Thursday with Lawson State Community College in Birmingham. Cornelius is the 17-year-old son of Brian and Kristy Cornelius, of Springville. He has always attended the Springville schools.
Although Calhoun Community College in Huntsville showed interest, Cornelius said he loved the coaches and the positive atmosphere at Lawson State. Cornelius is a pitcher and first baseman for the Tigers. He also bats sixth in the lineup.
Currently, the Tigers have advanced to the second round of the state baseball playoffs and have a record of 26-5.
For the season, Cornelius has a .353 batting average, four home runs and has 29 RBIs. On the mound, he has a 7-2 record and .875 earned-run-average (ERA).
“I have known since I was a little boy that I wanted to play collegiate baseball,” Cornelius said. “My favorite team is the New York Yankees while my favorite player growing up was Chipper Jones. My dream is to one day play at the major league level.”
Kristy Cornelius said she was very excited for her son because this is something he has been dreaming about for a long time.
“He was between 3 and 4 years old when he started playing T-ball,” she said. “He has been playing baseball ever since.
Brian Cornelius said he feels very blessed because he knows how hard his son has worked to get to where he is today.
“I know he is excited to go to Lawson State and we’re very excited for him too,” he said.
Cornelius has a 3.9 GPA, and he plans on majoring in physical education and history. After two years at Lawson, Cornelius wants to transfer to a Division I school.
Springville head baseball coach Jonathan Ford said he was just thrilled for Cornelius.
“He is such a good kid and hard worker,” Ford said. “He loves the game. It is fitting to see him have this opportunity. He has done so well academically and has excelled on the field.”
Springville High principal Virgil Winslett said they were proud of Cornelius and all the things he has accomplished while in high school.
“He has been a big asset to us and our program,” he said. “We are excited about his future and what’s going to happen for him.”
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org