Flanagan chooses NW-Shoals
There was something about Russellville second baseman Corey Flanagan that immediately caught the attention of Northwest-Shoals coach David Langston, but it wasn't a smooth double play or a timely hit.
"I had seen Corey play a lot over the last couple of years, and I liked how he plays the game – plays it the right way by working hard and playing with a lot of energy," said Langston, who signed Flanagan Tuesday at the RHS Field House. "But the main thing that lured me was that he showed how much he wanted to come to Northwest-Shoals, and I think he's going to be a good fit. We steal a lot of bases and do a lot of things with the bunt game, and Corey is a player who's good at getting on base."
Flanagan, who batted .405 last season with 39 RBIs and 21 stolen bases, said he is looking forward to playing against teammates Torey Baird and Matthew Crawford, who also signed Tuesday. Both will play at Snead State, which competes in the same junior college league as Northwest-Shoals.
"We've all been playing together forever, and we've been all over the place for games," Flanagan said. "We've always talked about what it would be like to play college baseball, and now we have that opportunity. We're looking forward to getting play against each other – I don't think we've been on different teams since we played in the rec league as little kids."
Flanagan said he wanted to play somewhere nearby that also allowed him an opportunity to develop his game.
"Playing at Northwest-Shoals will let me play close to home, and Coach Langston told me that I'm going to have to work my butt off. But I'll get a chance to compete for playing time my freshman season, and he does a good job helping his players move on to four-year schools."
He also respected Langston's approach during the recruiting process.
"Coach Langston treated me with great respect, and he treated me like an adult," Flanagan said. "I just thought he was the best coach to help me enhance my game."
Russellville coach David Ward lauded Flanagan's work ethic and dedication.
"Corey is a hard worker, and he loves the game," said Ward, who guided the Golden Tigers to the area championship and an appearance in the Class 5A championship series in 2007. "I can't say enough about how much he has worked hard and developed himself into a good athlete and baseball player."
Flanagan is the son of Donnie and Janna Flanagan of Russellville.