North Murray High School Mountaineers

April 19, 2013

Prep Baseball: North Murray’s Campbell headed over the mountains

Jared Campbell’s plan was to wait until the end of his final high school baseball season to consider college options in both that sport and football.

Then Young Harris College officials offered him a spot on the diamond — and the North Murray senior couldn’t pass it up.

On Thursday afternoon at North Murray, Campbell signed a partial athletic scholarship with Young Harris, a private college in Northeast Georgia. The Mountain Lions’ athletic programs are currently in transition from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) to the NCAA’s Division II.

Campbell was part of North Murray’s first freshman class and his senior class is the first one to spend all four years at the school, which began classes in 2009 with sophomores who had previously attended Murray County High School as well as incoming freshmen.

Campbell spent his falls causing havoc for opposing offenses as a starting linebacker on the football team. In the spring, he still has a mask on but is behind home plate and directs the defense as a catcher.

This past football season, Campbell made 40 tackles — 30 solo and four for a loss — forced one fumble and recovered two fumbles. He also had seven quarterback pressures, a sack and three pass deflections as the Mountaineers went 5-5 in coach David Gann’s inaugural season after the team went 1-19 during the program’s first two varsity campaigns.

Campbell said Berry College was interested in him for its football program, which kicks off competition this year.

“Baseball was always my passion growing up,” he said. “Football season went really well. I was going to wait until baseball season was over to make a decision, but Young Harris gave me the opportunity.”

Campbell has a batting average of .444 this season with one home run and 12 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .536 and his slugging percentage is .689. On top of those standout offensive numbers, his leadership is valuable on defense, Mountaineers coach Steve Granger said.

“He’s like the coach on the field, to be honest,” Granger said. “When he’s back there, he is directing people on what to do and where to be. Behind the plate, he’s going to block the ball and get in front of some stuff.”

Campbell said he has a chance to earn a starting spot “from the get-go” at Young Harris. Additionally, Campbell liked that the school is close to home and secluded from big cities.

“It’s real quiet,” said Campbell, who visited the school in December and February. “The coaching staff has been incredible to me. It just seems like the right fit.”

Campbell’s new home is going through something new. Young Harris started the three-year move from the NJCAA to the NCAA during the 2011-2012 school year and is about to finish the second year of that process.

Young Harris’ baseball team is competing in the Peach Belt Conference, the league affiliation for all of the school’s athletics, and can compete for conference awards and titles so long as they don’t come with an automatic berth to NCAA tournaments. The Mountain Lions will have active membership status starting in Campbell’s sophomore year.

Young Harris coach Rick Robinson said Campbell has something from playing football that most players he coaches don’t have right away.

“I think the biggest thing with Jared is he’s obviously a very good athlete, a two-sport athlete his whole life, and we feel once he has the opportunity to focus just on baseball, then his level of play will increase tremendously in a short period of time,” Robinson said.

“Any time you can pick up a quality athlete who’s also a football player, they bring a type of mental toughness to the team that most baseball players have to acquire after they get to college.”

Since Robinson took over in 1999, the Mountain Lions have gone 635-230, won eight conference titles and appeared once in the NJCAA World Series. From 2003 to 2005, Young Harris won at least 50 games each season. This year, the team has a 19-19 record.

“I’m going to get great coaching there,” Campbell said.

1
Text Only
North Murray High School Mountaineers
  • DHS at SE soccer 7 mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats

    Replicating the start of last year’s Class 4A state title match, Dalton High School’s boys soccer team needed just four minutes to score its first goal at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
    The Catamounts scored five more — and again defended their crown of dominance in the sport.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Baseball Roundup: Raiders out of hunt for the playoffs

    Needing a win to keep Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball season meaningful, Raiders coach Brad Lofton turned to a pair of senior pitchers on Friday at Heritage-Catoosa.
    The seniors didn’t disappoint, but it was the offense and the defense that couldn’t come through.

    April 12, 2014

  • Prep Roundup: Bruins power past Cats for key victory at home

    TUNNEL HILL — Similar to Wednesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series opener at Dalton High School, Northwest Whitfield fell behind early Thursday versus the Catamounts.

    April 11, 2014

  • Prep Roundup: Dalton golf teams in form at Fields Ferry

    Even in wet and muddy conditions, both the Dalton High School boys and girls golf teams are sharpening their games at the right time.
    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled in two weeks, both the Catamounts and the Lady Cats finished second during play at the Fields Ferry Invitational in Calhoun on Monday. Despite the soggy conditions, Dalton’s Jacob Brown tied for medalist honors with a 2-over par 74 to lead the Cats to a 313 combined score in the six-play, four-score format. Dalton finished three strokes behind tournament winner LaFayette.

    April 8, 2014

  • Wrestler of the year 2014 2 mlh.jpg All-Area Wrestling Team and Wrestler of the Year: Winning another title was the only goal for Wheeler

    When Dalton High School wrestler Sidney Wheeler won a state title for the first time two years ago as a sophomore, he admitted he became a little complacent about what it would take to replicate the feat — perhaps not noticeably so to most observers, but enough to take success for granted. Wheeler believed it a matter of course that he would win state again, and he thought the second title would simply be the middle child in a high school three-peat.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: N. Murray’s offense shut down by Canes

    North Murray High School’s baseball team may not be among the group tied for first place in Region 5-3A, but the Mountain-eers are sitting fairly comfortably in fourth place.
    If the regular season ended today, that would still put North Murray in the state playoffs for the first time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Prep softball: N. Murray’s Silvers heads to Covenant

    In just about every part of the recruiting process, Covenant College did a little extra to show its interest in Sarah Silvers.
    It spoke volumes to the North Murray High School softball player.

    April 1, 2014

  • Prep soccer: Morris boys earn Class 2A ranking

    It’s nothing new for a local high school boys soccer team to be among those in the eurosportscoreboard.com state rankings.
    It is new for that team to be Morris Innovative.

    March 18, 2014

  • Prep roundup: SE offense keeps foot on throttle

    As long as Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball team continues to hit the ball and score runs the way it has so far this season, it really won’t matter what the defense does.
    Coach Brad Lofton still likes how the Raiders’ fielding is improving.

    March 11, 2014

  • NM at DHS baseball   1  mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: A little bit of momentum

    Neither Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey nor North Murray coach David Redmond has had much reason to complain about their offensive production this season.
    Defense is another matter.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo