May 5, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Jayson Keel has accomplished quite a bit as a four-year starter on the Starkville High School baseball team.
After signing Monday to play baseball at Holmes Community College, Keel knows there is plenty more ahead for him.
"I''m going to miss Starkville High because I''ve had some good times here, but the journey doesn''t end," Keel said.
Keel celebrated his signing at the Millsaps Vo-Tech Center with family, friends, and coaches.
It was easy for Keel to sign a national letter of intent. Now, he wants to prepare for his next challenge.
"I got signing day out of the way," Keel said. "Now comes the hard stuff with the training, conditioning and having more baseball in my life. I''m just excited to play."
Keel started his freshman year in right field and moved to center field for the remainder of his prep career.
Starkville coach Danny Carlisle said Keel excels in the outfield, at the plate, and on the bases.
"He swings the bat extremely well and runs the gaps," Carlisle said. "We believe if the ball goes up, he''s going to catch it."
Keel, who had eight home runs this season, was an All-Class 5A, Division 2 performer in 2008. He is expected to repeat that this season. He has been chosen to play in the Mississippi High School All-Star Game.
Carlisle said Holmes C.C. is getting an outstanding player who is equally adept in the classroom.
Holmes C.C. assistant coach Ryan Beggs watched Keel last summer and believes he fills a need for the program.
"We needed a difference-maker in the outfield," Beggs said. "Jayson is a guy who can be that for us, not only in the outfield, but offensively. He fits in perfect with our philosophy. We''re the type of team that likes to run the bases, bunt, and run and he''s a perfect fit for us."