Harrell signs with St. Clair County CC
Recently graduated Starkville High senior Blake Harrell signed Tuesday to play baseball at St. Clair County Community College (Port Huron, Mich.). Pictured seated is Blake Harrell, along with family members, standing left to right, Jeanna Edwards, Allen Edwards and Drew Harrell. (Photo by Joel Coleman, SDN)
Recently graduated Starkville High baseball player Blake Harrell has experience with making a big adjustment.
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Prior to the 2010-11 school year, Harrell left Hebron Christian School in Pheba for SHS.
Now, courtesy of the baseball skills Harrell developed at Hebron and Starkville, it's time for Harrell to adapt again.
Harrell signed Tuesday to continue his baseball career at St. Clair County Community College located in Port Huron, Mich.
Once Harrell treks northward next month and leaves behind all that is familiar, he's hoping for yet another smooth transition.
"I went from a small private school to a Class 6A public school," said Harrell. "That's a big difference. This is kind of the same. But going (to St. Clair) and playing baseball year-round and going to school, time will fly by.
"I'm just going to have to get used to it, try and meet some new people and adjust. It's going to be a different environment, but it should be alright though."
For all the unfamiliarity he will encounter at St. Clair, Harrell will be reunited with head coach Mike Greene.
Greene, a former assistant coach at Mississippi Valley State University, coached Harrell on a summer league Mississippi Prospects team in 2010.
Based on that experience, Greene feels he has signed a special player in the form of Harrell.
"We are very excited to sign such a talented baseball player and student to our school," said Greene. "Blake is a hard working, talented individual and we are looking forward to great things from him. Blake and his wonderful family have placed their trust in me to coach him...and I'm proud and excited to do this.
"If Blake continues to work at baseball and school, he will have another signing to a four-year school or (professional) contract in a couple of years."
Sam Pearson, who coached Harrell at Hebron, has no doubt that Harrell will indeed put in the effort required to succeed at St. Clair.
"Blake has always worked hard at being his best in all that he does and excelled at every position he has been asked to play in every sport," said Pearson. "However, there has always been something extra special about him on the diamond. He has a natural feel for the game and has always exhibited maturity beyond his years.
"Blake Harrell will make any organization he is a part of better."
Though Harrell has experience as a pitcher, he says he'll "more than likely" play centerfield and shortstop at St. Clair.
Harrell says, whatever position he plays, much of the credit for him even being at St. Clair goes to Josh Buford, who runs the Mississippi Prospects organization that first united Greene and Harrell.
"(Buford) has done a lot of stuff for me," said Harrell. "All of my recruiting came in the summertime when I played for the Prospects.
"(Buford) gets you seen. He takes you to showcases at colleges where there are scouts. He takes you to the East Cobb tournament in Atlanta. (Buford) is really one of the main ones that helped me."
Thanks in large part to Buford's efforts, Harrell will now head to St. Clair and begin the next phase of his baseball life. Once that's done, Harrell says he's unsure what the next step will be, but as history suggests, Harrell will be able to handle any changes that come his way.
"I'll get some school that I need and hopefully get better as a baseball player," said Harrell. "If baseball has something for me in the future, I'll go for it."
Until then, Harrell will enjoy achieving a lifelong goal.
"It has been my dream to play college ball," said Harrell. "I always wanted to go to that next level and just worked hard when I was younger and it just paid off really. It's a good feeling to be able to go to the next level."