HEADLAND — Jacob King became the first Headland player to sign a football scholarship and a trio of Rams baseball players — Nate Aplin, Tyson Kirkland and James Evan Trammell — signed with junior colleges in a ceremony at the school on Wednesday.
King, a midfielder who has scored 18 goals this season, has signed with Huntingdon College. This was the second season that Headland had implemented a college football program.
Aplin, a pitcher/outfielder, and Kirkland, a center fielder, each signed with Lawson State in Birmingham, while James Evan Trammell, a pitcher, signed with Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga.
King when signing with Huntingdon: “It means a lot. I just hope I can represent Headland well by being the first (football signing). Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the coaches and the family.
Being part of Headland’s first football teams: “It’s pretty special. My dad (Jamie) was a big part of starting it all up and is one of the coaches, so that’s another really cool part of it all.
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On inking with Huntingdon: “My aunt Alison King played there about 15 years ago and now I have a good relationship with the coach and have seen them play a few times. I like the school in general and I like the program.
Assistant Coach Billy Richards on King: “Jacob just has a unique ability to move the ball where it needs to go. He also switches well from attack to defense. He’s a hell of a goalscorer, but he’s a selfless player. He distributes the ball well. If he is lucky enough to score, he will score, but most of the time he passes the ball to other players.That says a lot about the type of player he is.
Aplin on signing with Lawson State: “I went there in Birmingham this spring and really liked the campus and the coaches. I couldn’t think of any other place I would rather go.
When signing next to teammates: “Me and Tyson have been really good friends for a long time, so I think it will be good for us to go up there together. We (the three signers) have been playing together for a long time and it’s just a blessing for us. I just want to thank all the coaches and teammates who have helped me along the way.
Coach The Lancasters on Aplin: “Nate is a two-way guy. He’s my starting left fielder and one of our best pitchers. The reason we’re in the second round (of the playoffs) is because of him. He got the hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to win it.
“He’s a competitor with a good arm. He’s a good outfielder on our team, but I’m sure when he goes to Lawson State he’ll go mostly as a pitcher. He has a good live fastball and a very good curveball and change. He should compete very well from the start.
Trammell on signing with Andrew: “Andrew is about an hour away from his house and they have me wanting to go to school to be in the physiotherapy program there. It’s a small college and I think that’s what suits me best.
Trammell on what that day meant: “It means a lot because I’ve been playing baseball all year since I was about 7 years old and just being able to finally turn it into a reality means a lot to me.”
By signing alongside his teammates: “It means a lot to see that it’s not just me, but it’s with other people in the team who are going to play at the next level.”
Lancaster on Trammell: “This spring, we dropped his arm at a different angle which created a whole different opportunity for him. From a coaching standpoint, you like to see these different angles of a pitcher’s arm. The coach of Andrew saw that and now he’s going to have the opportunity to take it to the next level and pitch there.
Kirkland on signing with Lawson State: “As soon as I got up there it felt like a place where I could stay and play ball. Playing ball has always been a dream of mine, even since I’ve been playing T-Ball, so when I get up there and feel at home with a nice pitch, nice facilities, good coaches, good players, I couldn’t be more excited.
By signing alongside his teammates: “I’ve known them all since I was young. It’s a kind of sentimental signature with your childhood friends. When you sign up with your friends and know they’re going to level up to play, it’s just a good feeling.
“I just want to thank all my friends, my family, my coaches, my teammates who have helped me get this far.”
Lancaster-on-Kirkland: “Tyson is our starting center back and three-hole hitter. He’s another outstanding defensive guy with a positive arm. He’s going to be able to get up there and have a chance to start right away, and you can’t ask for much more than that.