By Doug Gorman
Former Jonesboro High School baseball standout Zach Maddox has loved baseball from about the time he was able to walk.
He even remembers hitting his first home run out of the park when he was 12-years-old while playing for the South Clayton Rockies. Maddox says he broke into a home-run trot, pumping his fist in the air as he circled the bases.
"I think everybody remembers their first home run," he said.
Most recently there was the dramatic victory against Warner Robins High School this past baseball season as Jonesboro won the game in the last inning on a wild pitch.
That victory assured Maddox and his fellow seniors a trip to the state tournament for the first time in their high school careers.
There was also his three-RBI game against rival Stockbridge, also in his senior season.
These and many others are the memories Maddox will pack with him as he journeys off to Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga. to begin his college baseball career.
Maddox officially signed his scholarship offer to the Georgia junior college during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
Now, he looks forward to moving to the next level.
"It (Truett-McConnell) has a home-town atmosphere to it," he said.
"They have a pretty good rate of players transferring after their two years there."
Maddox, who is expected to play shortstop in college, put up some impressive numbers for the Cardinals during his senior season, including finishing with a .329 batting average.
His final season of high school baseball included 24 hits, including three doubles and a triple. He also scored 20 runs for the Cardinals.
He also earned All-Southern Crescent honors.
Staying close to home will give Maddox's father Bill and mom Shawn the chance to see their son playing at the next level.
"It's been a long road, but it's been fun," said Bill Maddox. "A lot of hard work has come with it. He earned it."
Bill Maddox sensed early that his son had a special gift to play the Great American Pastime.
"I guess every dad the first time his kid throws a ball at three years old thinks their son is special," Bill Maddox said. "But to see him progress, he was always on good teams. He always had good coaches, and he always performed very well, and it was always his dream to play college baseball and through a lot of hard work, it happened."
Shawn Maddox has watched her son play in hundreds of baseball games over the years, but her favorite member came months after his high school career officially ended.
"My proudest moment was when he got the phone call (offering him to scholarship)," she said. "The expression on his face was priceless."
Maddox's college baseball career gets off to as fast start. Truett-McConnell has a fall baseball program and which starts on Aug. 19.
Maddox plans to major in business with an emphasis on sports marketing.