Senior Cole Stanley has pursued his love for baseball for the past 15 years. That passion has paid off with a college scholarship to Emmanuel College. On Nov. 30, Cole Stanley held his signing event at the Cedar Shoals auditorium to celebrate his offer.
“Football, I never really found the love for it. I played basketball for a little bit. But I realized baseball is where my heart’s at and it’s what I love. That’s what I wanted to do,” Cole Stanley said.
His mother, April Stanley, is a former softball player along with his grandfather, David Benton, who also played baseball.
“I always loved baseball. I played at home my whole life and we introduced him to it probably when he was about six years old,” Benton said.
After transferring from Athens Christian, Cole Stanley pitched for Cedar Shoals while also playing a variety of positions during his junior year and quickly made connections with his teammates and coaches.
“I knew when he walked out the first day of practice that we had a star on our team,” head baseball coach Josh Campbell said. ”It was just one of those things where like, as a coach, you smile and your eyes light up because you’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve got another star.’”
Cole Stanley’s teammates always looked up to him as a great support system.
“He’s very supportive. He’s always the life of the party. He’s always first to be there. Always last to leave,” teammate Ethan Oliver, junior, said.
Campbell recalls his moments with Cole Stanley and how proud he is of him.
“It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of him and the opportunity that he gets because I know how hard he works outside of the field, like pushing the agenda, trying to get seen, trying to play in tournament showcases. All summer long, he played in front of coaches and scouts. So finally after all these efforts, him getting the opportunity to actually go somewhere to play, it just makes me so proud,” Campbell said.
Cole Stanley hopes to study business management at Emmanuel college with the support of his family and friends.
“We’re excited for Cole. He’s worked so hard and he’s excited and I hope that he gets to go to college and really just becomes a great pitcher,” his father, Jason Stanley, said.
All of Cole Stanley’s teammates, family and coaches are excited about his future at Emmanuel and he hopes to continue his baseball career.
“I just want to get to the next level. Ever since I was 12 years old, seeing my cousin pitch at Georgia Tech. I realized that’s what I want to do later on and I’m glad to know that it’s finally here,” Cole Stanley said.