Williams Feels Like Home for Clanton
There is a seven-hour driving difference between Midlothian, Texas and Walnut Ridge, Ark. But it’s the similarities that made Colton Clanton want to make the trek.
Clanton, an outgoing baseball player, will continue his career behind the plate for Williams Baptist College next season capping a stellar career on the high school diamond. Born and raised in Midlothian, Clanton was looking for a second home when he chose where he wanted to go to school. He found just that in Walnut Ridge.
“I guess going up there and visiting with the school and the teachers and the coach, it was just kind of like being back here but in a different state. It was a small town feeling even though things are getting bigger,” Clanton said. “It was more of the country. I could fit in and it fit me. Plus, it was paid for so that was a big part of it.”
The lineage of Midlothian catchers playing at the next level has been a topic for discussion all season. Clanton split time with fellow senior Justin Shealy for much of the year. Shealy did beat Clanton to the spotlight, signing a scholarship with Clarendon Junior College to keep his career going. Each of the last half dozen catchers for Midlothian has taken their talents to the college ranks.
For his senior season, Clanton batted .333 with seven RBI and 16 total hits. Of those 16 hits, four were doubles. Clanton also played a major role as a linebacker on the football team, amassing 45 tackles and a sack for the Panthers in the fall.
His signing might have been a little later but timing was not important. Finding a place that fit just right was the relevant issue. The Williams student body is a mere 625 students, almost the same size as the Midlothian graduating class of 2011. That small size appealed to Clanton. Getting to play baseball might be the reason for heading east but the decision was far easier than just baseball.
“He’s got some ability and some talent and he really wanted to play at the next level and he found a place where he’s comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing,” Midlothian coach Ray Hydes said. “I think he’ll do good things. I think Colton will continue to get bigger and really going to get stronger. I think he’s still got a lot to learn about the game but once he does that, there’s no telling what can happen and we’ll see where he goes from here.”
Continuing a career while playing at a place that feels like home is a good portion of the dream Clanton had growing up. Now he’ll get the opportunity to live that out. Wherever the road goes for the senior from here still remains to be seen. One thing is certain – Clanton will give it his best shot and that tends to be pretty good.
“I remember being little and dreaming of going off to play college ball somewhere so just going off to do it is icing on the cake,” Clanton said. “I would have loved to have gone to a big school but, like my dad says, college is college and if you can play baseball it’s just that much better. I’m just glad to keep playing.”
Story courtesy of Waxahachie Daily Light.
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