Though he may be preparing for his senior football season at the moment, Ooltewah's Jackson McClain knows his future is in baseball.
The senior left-handed pitcher, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, recently committed to Yale University to play baseball.
"I had been traveling to all the Ivy league schools since the winter and the last camp I went to was in Palo Alto, Calif. at Stanford's all-star camp," McClain said.
Yale was among those with representatives watching the games.
"It was about a month-long process before they called on Aug. 1 and told me what it takes to be a pitcher at an Ivy League school and then made the offer over the phone for the first pitching slot class of 2017," he said. "I had been looking for a school that could challenge me academically as much as athletically."
McClain currently carries a 3.93 gpa and scored a 32 out of a possible 36 points on the ACT.
"He's really raw but he has the frame [6-foot-4, 205], and he's a hard worker," Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox said. "He has been throwing about 87 [mph] but I see that going up. He's one of those who could be a mid-90s guy."
McClain had a 7-1 record with a 2.80 era for Ooltewah last spring and during the summer he played for the Chattanooga Cyclones.
"Jackson has made some improvements, especially since he started working with David Mead. David is the same type build and he helped Jackson with some mechanical issues," Hitchcox said.
All non-football high school coaches, please be sure to submit your team's season schedule and a roster to the Times Free Press as soon as possible. Fax to 423-668-5049 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also be sure to report your scores and highlights immediately after each game by calling 423-757-6273 or 423-757-6364.
Georgia softball rankings
Northwest Georgia softball teams hold three top rankings in the first coaches poll released this past weekend. Heritage, fresh off a 30-win season, is the team to beat in Class AAAA, according to coaches, with Northwest Whitfield beginning the season ranked fifth.
Dade County, the favorite to win Region 7, is the No. 1 team in Class AA, while defending champion Gordon Lee is top-ranked in Class A. In Class AAA, Ringgold begins the season ranked third and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is 10th.
"It's too early to make much of it, but it is a tribute to the players and how the coaches feel about them," Heritage coach Steve Chattin said. "We'll see how it plays out, but just in our region I see Northwest Whitfield as the team to beat."
Red Bank wrestling
A preseason high school wrestling tournament is scheduled for Nov. 17 at Red Bank and weight management personnel will be on site.
"Nobody's kids are season-ready, and we are going to try to match less experienced kids against each other, which might be a perfect way to gauge where they are," Red Bank coach Ben Reichel said.
For information on the event, contact Reichel at email@example.com or at 423-432-2514.
Matches will be 2-1-1 with TSSAA referees.
"We have been done wrestling by 3 p.m. in previous years and will have the necessary mats to be done by that time this year," Reichel said.