I have been banging the drum loudly about how incredible this season will be in terms of football recruiting in the county. Well, let’s face it, this is still a baseball county, and 2014-15 proves once again that Columbia County keeps churning out big-time players on the diamond. So, while I cannot wait to cover all the kids being recruited on the gridiron this year, I must admit I am proud to wave the Columbia County flag this baseball season too. In case you have not been keeping track, the county already boast four Division I Baseball commitments. Two of which have committed to schools in the best baseball conference in the country (The SEC). Here is a look at the quartet to already commit.
Matt Anderson (Evans) Catcher - Georgia Southern
Kye Anderson (Evans) Pitcher - South Carolina
Nick Sandlin (Greenbrier) Pitcher - Southern Miss
Adam Sasser (Greenbrier) 1B/P - committed to UGA
To have four committed to such solid programs so early certainly says a lot about the talent of the individuals, but also illustrates the weight playing in Columbia County can have in recruiting.
With Matt Anderson headed to Georgia Southern, it appears the baseball pipeline from Columbia County to Statesboro is still intact.
Since the late 1980’s more than a dozen Columbia County products have suited up at Georgia Southern, but the connection goes back even further. Local businessmen Pierce Blanchard and E.G. Meybohm actually deserve credit for the county’s close ties to Georgia Southern Baseball. Blanchard is the former Executive Vice President of Georgia Bank and Trust and still serves on the bank’s Board of Directors. He played at Georgia Southern from 1959-63 and was the pitching star of the Eagles 1962 NAIA National Championship Team. During the NAIA World Series that season, Blanchard won a pair of games for Georgia Southern, including hurling a complete game shutout in the National Championship Game. His gem in the title clincher followed a masterful effort from Meybohm in the second round of the tournament. In the contest, Meybohm tossed a 10-inning complete game shutout in a 1-0 win over Winona State.
Meybohm also played in 85 basketball games as a forward for the Eagles during his stellar collegiate career. He was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991. Blanchard was inducted the following year in 1992. Since, Blanchard and Meybohm paved the way over 50 years ago, Georgia Southern, no matter who the coach has been, has always recruited this area hard. Here is a list of some of the players from Columbia County to play for the Eagles.
Ben Hayslip (Evans)
Craig Cassedy (Evans)
Todd Greene (Evans, HOF 2004)
Buddy Holder (Evans)
Mark Hamlin (Evans)
Brian Hall (Lakeside)
Michael Holder (Evans)
Clint Sauls (Evans)
Grady Blanchard (Evans)
Shane Pangle (Evans / UGA)
Michael Hester (Greenbrier)
T.D. Davis (Greenbrier)
Ben Morgan (Greenbrier)
Josh Wirsu (Harlem)
Lakeside’s Kubala Makes Top Ten List
In recent years the value placed on long snappers has gone up tremendously. Once an afterthought, long snapping has become a specialized part of the game that is worked on year round and the top long snappers now are recruited and signed to scholarships. As early as a decade ago, a long snapper was expected to walk-on at most college programs, and 20-25 years ago, there was no such specialty. The center was expected to handle the long snapping duties. Well, times have changed. So much so, that there is now a service that identifies the top long snappers across the country. Chris Rubio runs such a service and is considered one the country’s top authorities on prep long snappers.
Recently Rubio ranked the Top 10 Long Snappers in Georgia for GHSF Daily and Lakeside’s Connor Kubala (Sr.) made the list at No. 9. Making the list is a huge honor considering that this was a list of the ten best from all classifications, and both public and private schools. The 6-2, 220-pound Kubala has been ranked as high as 23rd nationally among long snappers and has parlayed his long snapping into a scholarship to Coastal Carolina in Conway, South Carolina. He committed to the Chanticleers in the last month.