Grangers’ Freeman getting his shot
Published 2:19 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He did a bit of everything for the LaGrange Grangers.
During his time as a LaGrange baseball player, Cole Freeman was an infielder, an outfielder, a catcher, and a guy who could hit in any spot in the lineup.
That versatility is part of the reason Freeman is going to get the opportunity to play college baseball.
Freeman, who recently completed his senior season, has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at South Georgia State College in Douglas.
“His athleticism and his ability to be versatile are tremendous assets for him,” said LaGrange head coach David Smart.
South Georgia State is a two-year school, so after one or two seasons, Freeman will have the opportunity to transfer to a larger school.
Freeman will be playing for head coach Jeff Timothy, who has helped build a strong program at South Georgia.
“I was planning on getting to my full potential there, and (Timothy) told me he’d get me to a four-year school,” Freeman said. “So that’s what I’m planning on.”
Freeman was a part of some special moments at LaGrange.
Most notably, Freeman was a starter on the 2017 team that made it to the Class AAAA semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Marist.
Freeman began this season at shortstop before moving to center field, and he helped the Grangers finish third in Region 5-AAAA and return to the state playoffs.
Smart is glad to have had the opportunity to coach Freeman for the past three years.
“Today is a dream being realized,” Smart said. “A lot of time and effort has been put in by Cole, put in by his family, and put in by a lot of people who love and support Cole. So it’s a realization of a dream, an opportunity for him to go on and play at the next level. It’s something when I first got here that we talked about. It’s something he really wanted to do and pursue. So we’re excited about that opportunity for him.”
Freeman is less than a month away from graduation, and he said he’s grateful to have been a member of the LaGrange High family for the past four years.
“It’s awesome. LaGrange is a big family,” Freeman said. “Everybody’s always been there for me. Once a Granger, always a Granger. It’s been amazing. I love LaGrange.”
While what Freeman did on the baseball field is noteworthy, Smart said he has also been an outstanding citizen who has always been there for his fellow students.
“Cole probably has one of the kindest hearts that you’ll ever see in anybody,” Smart said. “We do a lot of things with our special-needs kids, and our special Grangers, and just to see to know that no matter what, he’s got a shot.”
Freeman said helping others out is something he believes in.
“I’ve always been that person,” Freeman said. “If anybody needs anything, I always give it to them. It’s the right thing to do.”
Moving forward, Smart believes Freeman has landed in an ideal spot.
“It is probably one of the winningest programs over the past five or six years in junior colleges in the state of Georgia, and in the Southeast,” Smart said. “Coach Jeff Timothy there does a great job, not only producing winning teams, but he also does a great job getting his guys from there and signing with four-year programs. So we feel really good about Cole going there.”