Baseball players sign at PHS

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016

Holden “Howie” Hawkins, Kyle Phillips, Cole Whitman and Griffin Rivers celebrate at PHS baseball team’s Signing Day event Feb. 9. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

Holden “Howie” Hawkins, Kyle Phillips, Cole Whitman and Griffin Rivers celebrate at PHS baseball team’s Signing Day event Feb. 9. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Three more Pelham High School baseball players signed National Letters of Intent Feb. 9, during the baseball team’s Signing Day celebration.

Holden “Howie” Hawkins signed with Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Kyle Phillips committed to Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., and Griffin Rivers signed with the University of South Alabama.

Cole Whitman, who officially signed his Letter of Intent with Mississippi State in November, was also celebrated at the event.

“Anytime that our players have the opportunity to continue their education and play the sport that they love, that’s a big deal for us and it’s a big deal for them and their families,” said PHS head baseball coach Sean Anderson. “We are extremely proud.”

Anderson called each one of the players’ future coaches to share the moment with the about 150 people in the audience.

Mississippi State’s head baseball coach John Cohen welcomed Whitman to the Bull Dog family, stating that he couldn’t wait to see Whitman in the school’s uniform. He also added that Whitman should persuade friends and teammates to come cheer him on.

“I hear you’ve been throwing really well, and that’s exciting,” Cohen said. “We can’t wait to get you on campus as part of the club, and best of luck at your club this year. We hope you guys bring home that state championship.”

University of South Alabama head coach Mark Calvi also wished PHS luck in winning the state championship this season. He also told Rivers to enjoy this time as “one of the best times” of his life.

“On behalf of myself, the coaching staff and the University of South Alabama Jaguars, I want to say congratulations and we are really looking forward to having you next year,” he stated.

Although Covenant College head coach Doug Simons could not make the phone call because of compliance issues, he sent Anderson an email, which was read aloud.

He said he was excited that Phillips chose to spend his next four years at Covenant College, knowing that he would make an impact on Covenant and Covenant would make an impact on Phillips.

“I know this is a day of celebration for all of the hard work you’ve put in on the baseball field,” Simons wrote. “Enjoy it, embrace it and remember it. I am looking forward to you being on campus next fall.”

Huntingdon College’s head coach, D.J. Conville, echoed the theme of welcome to Hawkins. During his phone call, Conville welcomed both Hawkins and his family to the Huntingdon family.

“Holden it is great to have you as a part of our program and a part of our family,” he said. “We look forward to it. It’s a great opportunity and a great time in your life. I think you made the right decision and I think it’s the perfect fit for you academically and athletically.”