Nothing could be further from the truth.
After quarterbacking the Warrior football team (15-0) to its first state championship last December, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior – who signed on to play football and baseball with the Gamecocks – is still getting phone calls and visits, but of a different sort.
The Major League Baseball variety.
By his estimate, Blanchard has received interest from over 20 Major League Baseball teams. Scouts have become regulars anytime and anywhere the Class 4A, No. 3 Warriors (16-3) take the field.
“When you look around and see you’ve got 20 cameras on you, it gets to you a little bit, but I’m starting to work through it,” Blanchard said. “It’s really not that bad on me. I just try to play like they’re not here.”
It seems like he’s doing a pretty good job of that.
Through the weekend, Blanchard, primarily a shortstop, was batting .519 with 10 doubles, five home runs, 27 RBI and six stolen bases.
In his years of coaching baseball since his days at Brewton Parker in 2002, Warrior coach Jim Garmany said he doesn’t recall a player he’s coached receive the attention Blanchard has.
Garmany said he answers calls from baseball scouts almost every day about Blanchard.
“His name has gotten out there,” Garmany said. “It’s been ongoing since the first of the season. I don’t think we’ve had a game where we haven’t had someone (scout) to watch him play. It’s just a testament to this team, and the guys playing around him.”
The two teams who have shown the most interest in Blanchard are the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. Both clubs have had in-house visits with him, he said.
“I think most of them are just looking at the overall athletic part, seeing if I can play some outfield and be versatile,” Blanchard said. “I’m getting a pretty good vibe from them. They hang around, and it’s always a good sign when they hang around and watch you until the end (of a game). I’ve talked to them on the phone, and they keep coming back, so that’s good.”
While that sort of attention is enough to make any high schooler’s head swell, Blanchard is doing his best to keep things in their proper perspective. He knows there’s thousands of other players out there like him who have the chance of their name being called when the MLB amateur draft is held June 7-9.
“I’m definitely honored,” Blanchard said. “I’ve never been part of anything like this. I’m brand new to it. Me and my dad (Fran) learn something new every day. It’s an exciting experience.”
Cherokee County senior linebacker and Shorter College signee Caleb Crane has been selected to the North-South All-Star Football Classic.
The contest, which will close out the annual All-Star Sports Week July 12-16 in Huntsville, is set for 7 p.m. on July 16 at Alabama A&M University.
Crane led the Class 4A state champion Warrior defense last season with over 150 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception.
Head coach for the North squad is Hartselle’s Bob Godsey. Head coach for the South is Trinity’s Randy Ragsdale.
The Class 3A state football champion Piedmont Bulldogs (13-2) received their championship rings at a ceremony at the high school on Tuesday afternoon.
Piedmont claimed its first state football title Dec. 3 with a 35-28 overtime victory against Cordova in Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Pictures of the ceremony can be found on Page 3B of this week’s Cherokee County Herald.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association has reached an agreement with Montgomery-based Raycom Media, giving Raycom live streaming and tape delayed/live television rights for most of the AHSAA’s championship events for the next three years.
The agreement, developed by the AHSAA with help from the Alabama Sports Foundation (ASF), encompasses a statewide live-streaming for all AHSAA events except the Super Six Football Championship Series, Basketball State Finals Championship Series and the Champions Challenge Football Classic.
The agreement began Feb. 1, and continues through Jan. 30, 2012. Raycom has already streamed several AHSAA events live, including several South and Central Region Basketball Tournament games, the AHSAA State Wrestling Championships, the Alabama-Mississippi Basketball Classic and the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.
Other events scheduled to be live-streamed by Raycom the remainder of this school year include the baseball, softball and soccer finals. Next year, events will include volleyball and wrestling finals, regional basketball tournaments and plans to tape delay selected games in the first four rounds of the state football playoffs.
The Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame banquet and Alabama-Mississippi Basketball Classic will continue to be live-streamed according to the agreement.
Raycom is also studying ways to stream live other sports, including track and field, tennis, golf, swimming championships and the state cheerleading competition.