Three members of one of the most successful classes in Ringgold High School baseball history made their college choices official during a signing ceremony this past Wednesday.
Gavin Hollis signed with Lee University, Nathan Camp will join the roster at Louisiana –Lafayette and Ty Jones is on his way to Lipscomb University.
“All three of these guys have really put the time in and colleges don't come around unless you've put in the work,” Ringgold head coach Brent Tucker said. “They have all performed at different times in their careers and performed consistently. All three have leadership abilities, they’ve played for good summer league teams and coming from a winning program sure helps too. All three of them should make an impact as freshmen.”
Hollis said getting to play at the next level means a lot to him.
“When I first came to Ringgold, I knew that Coach Tucker could be the one to get me to that next level so this is really a dream come true,” said the Tigers’ catcher. “I first went up (to Lee) about two years ago and I just kind of felt at home. The coaches were very welcoming and they made everything so easy going.”
Hollis hit .317 with 21 RBIs this past season to help the Tigers reach the Elite Eight in Class AAA.
“He continues to improve in every facet of the game,” Tucker said. “He'll bring good leadership and a good positive attitude. He works hard and hustles every day at practice and as he continues to improve and get stronger, you'll see his game improve all the way through.”
“I just want to bring energy and a good attitude and come to work every day,” Hollis added.
He plans to go pre-med and one day become a sports medicine physician.
Camp, an infielder and pitcher, committed to the Ragin’ Cajuns back in September. He projects as an infielder at the next level.
“It’s crazy,” he began. “I really didn't think college baseball was something I was going to be able to do until I was about 13 years old. I'm pretty sure I was on Coach Tucker's summer team at the time and a couple of colleges started to come watch me play. That's when I realized I could actually do it. Like Gavin said, it's a dream come true.”
A two-time All-Region selection, he hit .355 as a junior with a .455 on-base percentage. He finished the season with four homers, 16 stolen bases and 28 RBIs as Ringgold went 29-8 and won the 6-AAA title. On the mound, he was 7-2 with a 1.96 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched. As an infielder, he ended the year with a .980 fielding percentage.
“I had a bunch of people tell me that they had a really good fan base and when I went down there it was just a really neat environment,” he explained. “I like all the coaches. The head coach is just awesome.”
“Nathan is an excellent defensive infielder,” Tucker said. “He's got a lot of speed and he can get some excitement going in the game, whether it's infield singles, bunt singles or line drives. He's also a good hit-and-run type of guy. He'll bring leadership to their program and he's just a good solid baseball player.”
Camp is considering a career in physical therapy or sports medicine.
As for Jones, the rightfielder said Lipscomb’s history helped cement his decision.
“I like where it is and it pretty much feels like home to me,” he said. “I’ve pretty much been working my whole life to get to where I am now, so (signing) feels pretty good. I couldn't have done any of this without my mom and dad and Coach Tucker.”
Jones was a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-American and has been a significant contributor in the Tigers’ three consecutive region title teams.
“He brings the threat of a deep ball,” Tucker said. “He hits for power with a lot of homers and doubles. He’s a great defensive outfielder and he plays the game hard. He’s fearless in the outfield and he's got a really strong arm.”
Jones is projected to play in the outfield with the Bison.
“I'm just going to go up there, be humble and try to give them another good ball player,” the soft-spoken Jones added.
He plans to major in Sports Medicine.
The Tiger trio has had one Sweet 16 appearance and two Elite Eight appearances so far in their high school careers. They collectively have 78 wins and are on pace to become the first Ringgold class in the Brent Tucker Era to reach the 100 career win plateau.