Curtis Wells signs with Bryan

On hand to watch Ridgeland senior Curtis Wells sign his baseball letter of intent with Bryan College was Ruth, Shannon and Paul Wells, along with Ridgeland head coach Scott Harden, Bryan assistant coach Jordan Day and Ridgeland assistant coach Dee Arnold.

Curtis Wells has been playing baseball since he was old enough to play baseball and, as of last Monday, his playing career is set to continue.

Bryan College will be the new home for the Ridgeland senior after he signed his letter of intent in front of a crowd of well-wishers in the school’s media center.

“This is all I’ve worked for since I was a little kid,” he began. “Being able to put pen to paper and know that I’m going somewhere that I feel like God has put me means I finally accomplished something that I’ve always wanted. This is a pretty important day.”

Wells said he feels he found a home with the Dayton, Tenn. NAIA program.

“I like that it’s a Christian school and it’s a small community,” he added. “It’s not too far for Mom and Dad either. When I went, I just knew I hadn’t (already) found a place that I liked more than that. I knew that was the place for me.”

Bryan assistant coach and former Trion High standout Jordan Day said the Lions were “intrigued” by Wells’ ability and willingness to pitch and play another position.

"I’ve known (Ridgeland) Coach (Scott) Harden for a long time and I always check in with him about his roster and he was telling me about Curtis,” Day began. “I think what intrigues us the most is his abilities on both sides of the ball. He has a really good arm and early in the recruiting process, I thought that’s what we would see him as (in college). We could just pencil him in on that side of the ball.

“But he really wanted to do both and as this season progressed, seeing the numbers he put up offense, and seeing video after video on him, I think he gives us a good option as a projectable guy that could go either way. He could also play both ways, or he could stick just as a hitter or just as an arm.

“We’re not bringing a lot (of freshmen) in, but we’re trying to bring in some projectable high school guys and I think he fits the bill for that 100 percent.”

Wells made the Catoosa-Walker Dream Team honorable mention list as a junior after hitting .237 with two doubles and eight RBIs, but significantly increased those numbers as a senior.

He finished this past season by hitting career-high .362 with a .638 slugging percentage. He had four doubles, tied for the team lead with three homers and drove in a team-high 15 RBIs.

He also played linebacker on the football team and was an honorable mention pick for the Panthers in Region 7-AAAA the last two seasons.

Wells said he hopes to contribute right away as a reliever and as an infielder.

“My freshman year, I want to come in and get a chance to throw some innings out of the bullpen,” he added. “I just really want to help them compete for another conference title.”

Harden also believes Wells has the ability to be a two-way player for the Lions.

“We talked about it on a trip up there,” he said. “Curtis really has an opportunity to play two ways and out of all the schools that were offering him, they were the ones that were going to give him a shot to do that. He was that guy for us and I know he can do it. He really stepped up after his (recruiting) visit and showed that he could.

“(Bryan) is a perfect fit for him, no doubt.”

Wells has his sights set on a career in physical therapy.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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