There’s nothing Jack Keele enjoys more than stepping on the mound. On Friday, he made sure he could do it for at least the next four years.
The Warren County High School senior signed a scholarship to attend Trevecca Nazarene University, a big next step for the local who has worn many caps over the last two years trying to get noticed by scouts.
“The atmosphere around the program and the coaching staff – they’re all very nice – made it the right fit for me,” said Keele, who has been on the Trevecca campus several times.
Keele, 18, has been a force on the mound the past three years for Blueprint Baseball. His willingness to take the ball in big spots and get outs is what immediately stood out to coach Josh Renick.
“He’s an athletic, good-sized kid who is very competitive and wants to win,” said Renick, who is a member of the MTSU baseball Hall of Fame. “He has a blue-collar work ethic. He understands the process and the work in front of him. He put it in to earn everything he got.”
Baseball has been Keele’s passion since he was 5, when he first started playing T-ball. From then on, he was never far away from a bat or glove.
“I started playing T-ball and then the mental aspect of the game drew me in and I loved it. As I got older, I became more in love with it,” said Keele. “Around 15 – when I started playing with Blueprint – I started believing I could play in college.”
Keele made an immediate impact with the travel team, helping the group claim a world championship in Louisville. Keele still remembers it as one of his favorite times on the field, though Renick may see bigger things in the future as he feels the big righty is just scratching the surface on his immense talents.
“The weight room is going to be the biggest thing. Once he’s bigger and stronger, he’s going to start throwing harder. Once he gets in the 92-93 mph area, maybe we’re back doing this for a pro signing, which I believe is the goal,” said Renick.
For now, Keele will settle for studying sports management in Nashville. And more so, he’ll have more time to step foot on his home away from home – the mound.