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Craig leaning toward college ball

June 10th, 2013 7:02 pm by Douglas Fritz

Craig leaning toward college ball

It’s not a done deal, but it doesn’t appear the Kansas City Royals spent a high-enough pick to keep Will Craig from heading to Winston-Salem, N.C., this fall.
The Royals selected the Science Hill graduate in the 37th round of the First-Year Player Draft over the weekend. If Craig doesn’t sign with the Royals and attends Wake Forest, he wouldn’t be eligible for the big-league draft again until 2016.
Money is an issue because major-league clubs don’t offer much to the lower-round picks. Craig said he’s not sure whether he will sign with the Royals, and money is a key part of the picture — which is understandable because of the value of a Wake Forest education.
“It has something to do with it,” said Craig. “I will just let them decide how much they want to offer and go from there.”
Craig’s former high school coach, Science Hill’s Ryan Edwards, said he thinks the first baseman and pitcher is headed for college ball.
“I don’t think he will sign, but you never know,” said Edwards. “The Royals told him they liked him. They know the amount of money it would take to get him away from Wake Forest.
“He knows realistically he’s not going to get a lot of money in the 37th round. It will come down to them not signing some of their top picks, and maybe having some extra money left over. But there are so many rules on how much they can give these kids, or they get taxed by the league.”
If Craig doesn’t sign with Kansas City by July 15, he will be headed for Wake Forest.  Royals officials told Craig they will follow him for the next couple of weeks — as he plays for the East Cobb Yankees in a wood-bat league in Georgia — and see if they can work out a deal.
“I told him in either situation, he needs to get as many years of baseball as he can and still come out with an education,” said Edwards. “He has good options on the table. They are definitely serious about him. They had a pre-draft workout in May, and the scouting director seemed to like him.”
Regardless of whether Craig signs, just getting picked is an accomplishment.
“Not a lot of people from our area get drafted,” said Craig. “We don’t get looked at as well as the players from California and places like that. So being selected is a real honor for me.”
Craig was the 1,104 player chosen in the draft. He was one of 45 players selected from Tennessee. Most of them were college players, but Maryville Heritage pitcher Trevor Clifton (overall No. 348) was the first high schooler taken. He went in the 12th round to the Chicago Cubs.
Tullahoma pitcher Jordan Sheffield (No. 383) was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round. Also picked were Farragut pitcher Kyle Serrano (859, Rockies), Germantown third baseman Ridge Smith (861, Indians), Clarksville Rossview outfielder Venn Biter (901, Phillies), Pigeon Forge pitcher Wil Crowe (921, Indians), Memphis University School second baseman Dalton Dulin (1,081, Phillies) and Sequatchie County pitcher Dakota Hudson (1,090, Rangers).
Crowe was expected to be picked in the first few rounds, but fell significantly because of signability issues. He has signed to play collegiately at South Carolina, and was reportedly asking for over $1 million.
Former Sullivan South standout Tristan Archer was selected in the 21st round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Archer was selected out of Tennessee Tech University.
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The TSSAA will hold its annual Board of Control meeting, beginning today and concluding Wednesday or Thursday in Murfreesboro.
Among the items up for discussion are:
1. Football calendar adjustment in regards to heat acclimatization. A recommendation regarding this would be implemented prior to the 2013-14 season.
The potential changes involve when the players could begin wearing helmets and shoulder pads, and how long they must practice in them prior to wearing full pads.
2. The National Federation of High Schools basketball rule book calls for a bigger coaching box than Tennessee’s current six-foot box. The Board of Control is looking into extending the coaching box to match the national standard.
3. Knox Farragut requests on-course golf coaching from tee to green.
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North Greene went from a David Crockett standout to a Happy Valley standout for its head football coaching position.
Former Warriors’ head coach Scotty Verran — also a former star running back — took over from Josh Edens, a former Pioneers’ standout who resigned last month after three mostly successful seasons at the Greeneville school.
Verran was 17-16 in three seasons at Happy Valley, leading the Warriors to an 8-4 mark and into the second round of the playoffs in 2008. He had been an assistant at South Greene and David Crockett over the last three years.
“It’s just a good atmosphere at North Greene, and I feel like there is good community support,” said Verran. “The school is loyal to its sports programs, and it seems like all the people are nice.”
Verran said the Huskies will have a chore on their hands to duplicate the success of winning 11 games over the last two years after winning just 10 games over the previous six seasons.
“They lost several seniors, so we’re sort of in a rebuilding process,” said Verran. “(Edens) made some great gains, and we hope to be able to build off those gains.”
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Hendersonville Beech running back Jalen Hurd, who has committed to the University of Tennessee, has earned an invitation to The Opening — a five-day camp sponsored by Nike for 100 of the top football players in the country. The camp runs June 30-July in Beaverton, Ore.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound rising senior rushed for a state-record 3,357 yards and 42 touchdowns last season and earned Class AAA Mr. Football honors while leading Beech to the Class 5A state title.
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Prep signings: Former Happy Valley standout Jaylen Simmons will move on to play at the next level.
The Chattanooga Baylor running back recently signed to play football at Emory & Henry. Simmons participated in the Tennessee-Georgia high school football all-star game Saturday night. The Tennessee team won, 10-7. ...
A pair of David Crockett football players have made their college decisions.
Kenneth Wells and Jordan Turner both signed recently to play at Tusculum College.

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