Long County High School baseball player Phillip Swindell signed a letter of intent with Piedmont College on Monday at the LCHS media center, giving the senior catcher the opportunity to play at the next level.
Swindell played his senior year at Long County after being a standout player at First Presbyterian Christian Academy. Long County coach Tyler Rogers said the one year Swindell spent with the Blue Tide made him realize what a valuable player he is.
“He is a great kid with a great personality and a hard worker,” Rogers said. “I know he is going to give it all he’s got … because that is the only way he plays, 110 percent all the time. Behind the plate, he is a game changer.
“After he throws the ball down once, you don’t see anybody else running the whole game. That is the kind of arm and potential he’s got. For us, he has also been a big help on the mound. I think he will be just fine … He has the work ethic. He will be able to make it wherever he wants to go.”
Swindell said he was grateful to have played his last season under Rogers.
“He pushed me to be and to give all I could give this year and it showed, especially here, signing this college scholarship,” Swindell said.
He plans to play nearly 70 or more games this summer with Atlanta’s Team Elite.
“I’ve played all over the country with some of the top talent in the country, and that has all culminated in this last high-school season here and that cemented my spot at Piedmont,” Swindell said.
Swindell plans to major in athletic training and minor in physical therapy at Piedmont, which is in Demorest and recently completed a 25-14 season, according to the school’s athletic website.
“Piedmont does a very good job at promoting guys ... they play in the Valley League, which is one of the top pro-scout leagues in the country … maybe one day, I will be able to go pro,” he said.
The busy summer Swindell has planned is standard for him, his father, Phil, said.
“He plays every summer and typically every fall,” Phil said, adding his son has sacrificed nearly every summer since the age of 12 playing travel ball. “Last summer, we spent six straight weeks in Atlanta and played almost 50 games in six weeks. He played at South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia and played in two World Wood Bat Association Nationals last year that had over 300 teams each, so he played a lot.”
His mother, Amy Swindell, said the opportunity to play at the next level is a rewarding experience.
“It is kind of hard to put words to the emotion, but he works so hard to get to this point,” she said. “This is what he’s always dreamed of, and we are just very excited that he is going to the next level and have the opportunity to play ball and to be a part of an amazing school.”