Categorized | Sports

SPORTS ALERT: Former Trojan hurler earns dream with roster spot at CBU

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Garrett Dooley CBUSometimes for a dream to come true, a person needs a little push.

Back in May Garrett Dooley reached one of his milestones graduating from Millington Central High School. Dooley was closing that chapter of his life which included academic success and playing Trojan Baseball.

“I definitely accepted the fact I was going to CBU,” Dooley recalled. “But inside I knew I wanted to play baseball. I knew if I worked hard I could possibly walk-on.”

Dooley decided to share his dream of playing college baseball with his high school Head Coach Zane Adams. Knowing the joys and sacrifices to play college baseball as former West Alabama Tiger, Adams stayed in connect with his former ace Dooley.

Adams also reached out to Christian Brothers University Head Coach Lee Parks. The communication and Dooley’s solid tryout Sunday earned him a roster spot for the 2018 CBU Buccaneers.

“Garrett got a full academic scholarship to CBU,” Adams noted. “In the middle of the spring I called Coach Parks at CBU. I told him I had a kid coming. I think he had seen him play some in the fall and summer. If he had a spot, just give him a look. I kept up with him. Dooley played with Leagues during this summer. I think Coach Parks came and watched him play. He kept up with Garrett.”

Finally Parks invited Dooley out to USA Stadium to throw bullpen against live batters. The former Trojan standout talked to the coaches and then was told to wait for a phone call.

Parks met with is coaches before calling Dooley. The CBU Skipper asked Dooley, ‘How did you think you did?’ Before the conversation concluded, Parks told Dooley he did well enough to have a roster spot reserved.

“It’s crazy, it’s a dream just to say it,” Dooley said. “I can say I’m a NCAA athlete. It’s a great feeling.”

Dooley will play NCAA Division II Baseball in the Gulf South Conference against teams like West Alabama, North Alabama, Mississippi College, West Florida, Union University and more.

The 6’2, 175-pound hurler got on CBU’s radar being the ace for the 2017 Trojans. He batted near the top of the lineup whether if he was on the mound or roaming the outfield.

Dooley said his years in the program and three years under Adams prepared him for the process of earning a college roster spot.

“The Trojan program is definitely taking steps in the right direction,” he said. “It’s come from the leadership outside of Coach as well. We’ve had great senior leadership over the years. I know my senior year I tried to make the kid below me better. And that’s what the seniors did for me. So as a program the leadership from the coaches has guided us in the right direction morally and ethically.”

Dooley joins former Trojan Noah Graham as players to reach the college level in Adams’ three full seasons in charge of the program.

“He got him a roster spot and he’ll a part of the CBU Buccaneers,” Adams said. “When he called me I was so proud. Not just for him, but for the work we put in together.”

Adams said a coach’s job never really stops as long as the student/athlete needs help in the classroom or on the field.

“The type of kid, student and person he is I could tell he really wanted to do it,” he said. “If a kid or player shows me he really wants it, I’ll do the best I can to get him somewhere. We stayed in connect all summer and I did the best I could. I spend so much time with these players I feel like they are mind. I try to do everything I can for them to better their futures.”

Adams said Dooley is in good hands joining Parks’ program. The CBU head coach came to the Memphis campus in July 2016.

Parks joined CBU after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach at University of Memphis coaching Tigers infielders and handling duties at first-base.
Adams said Parks’ CBU program and Dooley are coming together at the right time.

“He’s definitely a good player,” he said. “I never doubted that. With him, he had the full academic to CBU. He could have gone to other places smaller to play ball. It’s harder to find a kid who is going to get school paid for anyways at a great school.

“The conference is definitely a strong conference,” Adams continued. “This is Coach Parks second year. He was an assistant at the University of Memphis. Really great coach and really great guy. He’s won a lot of games at CBU this past year that they haven’t won in the past. They’re on an uphill climb with Coach Parks. I told Garrett yesterday, ‘Now the work really starts. You’ve got to show Coach you earned that spot.’”
Dooley is ready to validate his spot and hard work to make his dream come true.

“Never give up,” Dooley concluded. “I knew for a fact I didn’t want my baseball career to end in high school. But I just keep playing and with the support of coach and friends I was able to reach my dream.”

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