Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 3, 2014

Princeton’s Wood to play for Bluefield

PRINCETON — After years of practicing together, Addison Wood and his brother Mike may finally get to form a brothers’ battery in a game — as catcher and pitcher for the Bluefield College Rams.

Addison Wood signed paperwork on Tuesday at his new alma mater, Princeton Senior High School, to play for BC. His older brother, working to rehab a shoulder injury, is transferring from Concord University, his family said.

Their father Michael Wood said Tuesday, “Assuming (Mike) gets over this hurdle with his shoulder, it very possibly could be Mike pitching and Addison catching.”

Addison Wood, who graduated May 24 in the top 15 percent of his class, is eyeing the pre-med program at Bluefield College with a goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

He said, “It (BC baseball) is a great program, and a great fit for me academically and athletically. The coaching staff seems to really care about the players. They have a good record, a good team.”

“It’s a Christian college, and that really fits me pretty good. And, academically, they have ties with Virginia Tech’s osteopathic school, which would really help me out, getting into med school.”

Michael Wood said the Bluefield College baseball program is “under-rated; it doesn’t get a lot of press, outside of the immediate area, but they compete nationally, very well. It’s just a real good fit all the way around.”

Addison’s mother Mary Wood said, “I am absolutely thrilled. They have both worked extremely hard, both in the classroom and on the field as well.

“They have always practiced together. They have never been able to play together, so we’re looking forward to that.”

Addison Wood said he’s played baseball “as long as I can remember.”

While with the Tigers, he has learned, he said, “It’s all about teamwork. You can’t just have a couple of players who do good. You have to have a whole team, that comes together as a family.”

Tigers head coach Josh Wilburn said, “Addison really raised the bar of the program. That’s what we ask of our seniors. His work ethic really, really showed to the younger kids this year.”

He called Wood “a picture of perseverance, as far as him being able to battle through injury, and work as hard as he did, and then be able sit here, and sign to go to college.”

Wilburn said, “I think it’s going to be a really good fit for him. Bluefield College is very competitive, it’s very good baseball.”

“I told Coach (Ryan) Lambert (BC assistant coach) that he’s got a great recruit, that I think he’s going to do some really good things at Bluefield.”

“He’s a really good student. He has aspirations to go into the medical field, and he’s going to do a great job with that.”

“Today it’s a good celebration, not only for Addison, but for the Tiger baseball program.”

Lambert was on hand to represent the Rams.

“We saw him play,” Lambert said.

“He’s got good size, he’s got a great arm — smooth, athletic actions. He projects to having a little bit of power. He’s definitely the player you kind of look for at the college level, athletically.”

“But also, he’s got extremely strong academics and he comes from a solid family background, so we’re really excited to have him.”

The Wood family has known BC head baseball coach Mike White and his family for years.

Addison Wood said, “He’s a great guy, and he really does care about the kids. He doesn’t just try to win; he makes sure all the kids are healthy, and does the right decisions.”

Michael Wood said, “He’s such a genuinely honest and straightforward guy, and he’s got the best interest of the kids at heart.

“It’s not about ‘how many wins I can get.’ He plays the game the right way, he treats the kids fairly.

“He’s very straightforward with them, honest about their abilities and what they’re going to do, and what they need to do. He’s just a great guy. You couldn’t ask for a better coach.”

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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