USC Salkehatchie Athletics

Indians Giving Back

Former Cougars Jamel Paige and Mark Blankenship, shown giving advice to current player Lucas Bell, have returned “home” and will be volunteering as assistants this season. Photo by Cindy Crosby

Former Cougars Jamel Paige and Mark Blankenship, shown giving advice to current player Lucas Bell, have returned “home” and will be volunteering as assistants this season. Photo by Cindy Crosby

Coming Home: former Salk Indians and Colleton County Cougars come home to volunteer coach

“It feels great coming back to where it all started for me,” said Paige.

A former Colleton County High School graduate and baseball player has made his way home and into the ranks of volunteer coaching. Jamel Paige, 2009 graduate, played baseball at USC Salkehatchie in NJCAA Region X and finished his career at Newberry in the South Atlantic Conference.

Paige, a highly touted All-Conference, MVP player in high school, played centerfield for both the Indians and the Wolves. Collegiately, he was named MVP, Academic All-American, and Offensive Player of the Year for Salkehatchie and SAC All-Conference for Newberry. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and plans to pursue physical therapy and hopes to continue coaching.

Wearing the Cougar on his chest again, feels just right to Paige. “It feels great coming back to where it all started for me,” said Paige. “I would like to thank Coach Knight and the entire coaching staff for giving me this opportunity. I feel I have gained a great deal of knowledge over the course of my college career, and I’m looking forward to helping the team to a successful season.”

The Cougars, who boast a senior class deep with college prospects, will likely be taking full advantage of Paige’s knowledge and advice over the season. “Develop good habits, make adjustments, and constantly work on your craft,” offered Paige to his players. “Don’t be afraid to fail, because failure leads to success and don’t be afraid to make the adjustments necessary.”

Paige, who will be working with the outfielders and hitters, is looking to help make a difference; while he, himself, learns more about coaching under mentor Percy Knight. “This is a very talented team with a great group of guys, but they must continue to work hard,” said Paige. “I expect great things from this team. It is the most talented Cougar team that I’ve seen in years and the anticipation is there that they will accomplish things that have not been done in this program in a while.”

Also back in the Cougars ranks as a volunteer assistant coach is former player and USC Salkehatchie Indian pitcher Mark Blankenship.

http://thecolletonian.com/

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