07/15/04 — Gator teammates become Lancers

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Gator teammates become Lancers

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 15, 2004 1:55 PM

If is fitting that Jes Snyder and Michael Sigmon -- two of the key cogs in Spring Creek's baseball team's rise to the Class 1-A Carolina Conference championship in 2004 -- are the first baseball players in the school's young history to get the opportunity to play at the college level.

Also fitting, they will play on the same team at Lenoir Community College.

Garnering all-conference and all-state honors in his senior season, Jes Snyder batted well over .400 and played a stout shortstop as the Gators won a regular season title for the first time in school history.

Currently playing for the Wayne County American Legion team, Snyder has backed up his senior campaign by hitting a team-high .392 with 21 RBI for the Area One East South Division champions.

Sigmon, an all-conference performer, was 6-0 with one save and hit over .300 in 2004 for Spring Creek. He seemed to pick up steam as the season continued, tossing a stellar one-hit shutout against Midway in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs.

"Our ultimate goal is wanting these kids to move on to the next level," Spring Creek coach Roger May said. "When we see our kids go to the next level, it gives the younger kids the chance to see they can do it too."

Despite all of the recent team and individual accolades, Snyder knows he still needs to grow in order to reach his dream of being a Division I baseball player.

Snyder -- the 2004 News-Argus position player of the year -- will take his game to the junior college program next spring with the ultimate hopes of reaching that dream.

The Lancers' history of winning obviously was another key attraction to Snyder and Sigmon. LCC finished 34-17 last year and was fifth nationlly after advancing to the Junior College World Series.

"They have a really good tradition, and last year they went to the World Series, which attracted me a lot," Snyder said.

Sigmon impressed Hartsell with his sidearm style of pitching at a one-day tryout in late June and earned an invite to pitch for the Lancers.

"I'm getting more velocity on my fastball, and I can place it where I want to most of the time," Sigmon said. "Coach Hartsell said he would keep me as a sidearm pitcher. My slider works really good from the side."

Hartsell was impressed by Snyder's all-around game and work ethic.

"We are really proud to have him coming in. We know he has a good work ethic having played for Coach May," Hartsell said. "He has done a lot of positive things at the high school and Legion level. We think he can progress to become a solid college baseball player."