Local standout will play for Seahawks
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on December 23, 2005 1:57 PM
Jes Snyder admits he wasn't overly optimistic when he decided to play Junior College baseball for Lenoir Community College after he graduated from Spring Creek in 2004.
Snyder, the 2004 News-Argus Player of the Year, had hoped to sign with a Division I school after finishing a stellar career with the Gators. His goal of playing D I didn't work out then, but after a strong freshman year with LCC, the big-hitting infielder was finally given his chance.
Snyder has signed an official letter of intent to play for UNC-Wilmington, of the Colonial Athletic Association, under 15-year head coach Mark Scalf. Scalf and his staff liked Snyder out of high school, but Snyder said they saw him more as a "developmental player," who simply needed more time.
After seeing Snyder hit .395 with 15 home runs and 67 RBI -- all team-leading numbers -- as a freshman at LCC on his way to Region X MVP honors, the Seahawks obviously thought he had earned his chance to play at the next level.
"I went down there my senior year and they saw me as developmental player. I've always been interested in them and after last year, they showed me the most interest and offered me the most money.
"I like the program, and assistant coach (Randy) Hood. Wilmington has always been my dream, to go to school and play baseball there, so it's perfect."
Snyder will finish his sophomore year at LCC, before enrolling at UNC-W as a junior in the fall of 2006. His scholarship covers tuition.
"I didn't look at going to Lenoir too positive because it was a JUCO, but it's been the best transitional stage going into D I college baseball," Snyder said. "It's been the best program I could imagine. It's prepared me for that next step."
Snyder, who also played for Wayne County Post 11, said Scalf likes him as a shortstop but the veteran coach believes third base may be the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder's best position if he moves on to the professional level. Snyder expects the chance to play both.
"Jes is a hard-nosed competitor that will help us both defensively and offensively," Scalf said on a recent press release.
The Seven Springs native joins Daniel Cropper (Snow Hill, Md.), Jesse Haney (Chesterfield, Va.) and Brandon Padgett (Olin) as recent Seahawk signees for the 2006-07 year.
Before joining this group in the Port City, Snyder will take the field for first-year coach Stony Wine, who took over the LCC program after the retirement of longtime coach Lind Hartsell.
Once again, the Lancer roster is filled with Wayne County and area talent with the likes of Michael Oglesby and Airlon Vinson (Eastern Wayne), Matthew Holloman and Logan Porter (Southern Wayne), Michael Sigmon and Snyder (Spring Creek), Joe Wade and Jordy Davis (Greene Central) and Josh Williams (North Lenoir).
Former Lancers Todd MacCoy (Eastern Wayne) and Jacob Allen (Greene Central), have moved on to play for Division II UNC-Pembroke.
LCC, the defending Region X, Division II champions, opens its season at home on Feb. 17 with a doubleheader against Montgomery-Germantown (Md.).
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