East Central Community College was the "right fit," according to Wayne County infielder Jalen Ayers. Ayers made East Central his future home on Monday afternoon, signing with the Warriors inside the Wayne County High School's Library surrounded by family, friends, and coaches.
“I’m happy and want to thank God for this opportunity,” said Ayers. “It’s the place I want to take my career to the next level.
"I had an offer from Mississippi Delta, too, but the environment and coaching staff at East Central was the right fit [for me]."
His ability to play multiple positions on the diamond made him an attractive signee for the Warriors’ baseball program.
"I'm a utility player," Ayers said. "They (East Central) haven't exactly told me where I'd play on the field, but they said I had the chance to play anywhere for them."
Despite Ayers' shy demeanor, Wayne County head coach Ian Sharp said Ayers has been a team leader for several years now and will play a bigger role for the War Eagles this upcoming season.
“He’s been a leader for our program for three or four years now,” said Sharp. “I look for big things from him this season. He’s a good one. If you had a bunch of guys like him, you’d be very blessed.”
“His maturity has grown,” added Sharp. “His ability to communicate more, and to see him grow into the young man he is now has been a blessing.”
Sharp also praised Ayers for the young man he is off the field.
“Jalen is a great young man,” said Sharp. “I’m excited for both him and his family to have this opportunity. It’s very rewarding to have a player like Jalen to be able to play at the next level and follow his dreams. He’s a good one.”
Last season as a junior, Ayers led the team in base hits with 28. He batted .341 for the War Eagles in 108 plate appearances.
"This summer, he got in the weight room and got a lot bigger," added Sharpe. "He's put on about 25 pounds of muscle, and it's helped him a ton. He played a good bit this summer, and got exposed to more talent around the area."
"I'm excited," said Ayers when asked about his upcoming senior season at Wayne County. "The goal every year is to win a state title, but I'll take things from game to game, [trying to improve myself]."