Hunter Graham, a senior member of the DCHS Tiger baseball team, will play for the Columbia State Community College Chargers next season.
A signing was held Friday afternoon at DCHS. Graham was joined by his parents, Kyle and Doris Graham; his sister, Tyra Graham, DCHS baseball coach Scott Odom and assistant coach Andrew Dixon; and Mike Corn, head coach of the Columbia State Chargers.
"I'm very excited to sign to play college baseball. Its been a dream since I was a kid," said Graham.
Coach Corn said its also a pleasure to have Hunter as a member of the Chargers. "We're real excited to bring Hunter and his family into our family," he said. "Its so important for these young men to be recognized, not only as baseball players but as student athletes and Hunter is a great representation of both of those. He'll graduate (DCHS) in 2013 and start up with us in the fall of this year and we'll expect big things from him coming in. This is not a huge recruiting class for us. He's our first signee of the year. For recruiting purposes with the junior college it just now really cranks up in January for us. I think he is going to be a great talent and he would certainly project as a Division-I pitcher for me after two years with us," said Coach Corn.
Before he moves on to the next level, Graham said he is hoping to help lead his team to another state tournament appearance this spring. "Definitely going to state my freshman and sophomore year was a big deal. We're hoping to go back for a three peat my senior year," said Graham
Coach Odom said he is excited for Graham to be able to continue his baseball career at Columbia State. "It is a good program and Coach Corn has done a wonderful job there," said Coach Odom. "However, we are really glad he still has another year of eligibility left with us. Hunter has started with us since he was a freshman. In those three years the TIGERS have an impressive 75-17 record and an .815 winning percentage with two district championships, 2 region appearances, 2 region and sectional championships and 2 state tournament appearances, where we finished ranked as high as #3 in the state and #4 last year," he said.
"Hunter has a lot of talent and has put in a lot of hard work as well," said Coach Odom. "Nothing good comes easy and he has earned this right to go to college and hopefully get a degree and keep playing. They like him as a pitcher and a hitter. He has been one of our best hitters over the last two years and we rely on him a great deal as both a pitcher and hitter," he said.
"I am really happy for him and his family. They are very supportive of Hunter and the TIGER baseball team. The best part is he is as good of a young man as he is a baseball player. He is someone that all of DeKalb County can be proud of. I know that I am," said Coach Odom.
Following a record breaking 2012 season, Coach Corn at Columbia State Community College was named Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association. This marks the second consecutive year Corn has received this award.
The Chargers had an impressive 2012 season with a record 38 consecutive wins at home, a program best 43 victories and an NJCAA national ranking of number four. The 2012 team also boasts four Division-I signees and the only MLB draft pick in the TCCAA, Marsalis Holloway (34th Kansas City Royals).
In its history, Columbia State has logged six World Series appearances, sixteen state titles, twenty division titles, twenty four pro baseball signees, 238 four year signees, and 132 Division-I signees.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation.
Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association and the National Junior College Athletic Association.
(Pictured above: Left to Right- DCHS assistant baseball coach Andrew Dixon, Tiger head coach Scott Odom, Columbia State head coach Mike Corn, Kyle Graham (father), Doris Graham (mother), Tyra Graham (sister); seated, Hunter Graham)