Cyrus Grimes took a great deal of pressure off his shoulders earlier this summer when he announced he verbally committed to South Alabama to play baseball.
With several schools recruiting him, the rising Navarre High School senior chose the Jaguars for several reasons.
“It’s close to home and a great program, and they have a great coaching staff,” Grimes said. “I want to say thank you to (head) coach (Mark) Calvi and (assistant) coach (Chris) Prothro for giving me the opportunity to play at a school like South Alabama. I saw it as a great opportunity and took it.”
It is indeed a great opportunity. South Alabama boasts one of the top programs in the country. This past season, the Jaguars won 42 games, earned a share of its 16th Sun Belt Conference crown and advanced to the NCAA regional tournament championship game against Florida State.
“Their success played a big part in my decision,” Grimes said. It’s nice knowing you are going to a school that is going to compete at a high level.”
Grimes understands what it takes to compete at a high level and spent his summer honing his skills on the travel baseball circuit, playing for the Orlando Scorpions and Team Phenom.
“Being able to play travel ball is big for me,” Grimes said. “It helps you stay on top of your game and keeps you focused.”
Seeing time at third base, the outfield and as a pitcher, Grimes showcased his versatility as an athlete. His biggest improvement, though, had nothing to do with anything he did on the field.
“Baseball is mostly a mental sport and I think the mental side of my game is where I’ve made the most progress as a player,” Grimes said. “I’ve been able to find a solid approach to take up to my at-bats or the field.”
Read more in the Aug. 4 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.