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Butler moving to next level

Monday, Demopolis High School senior Blake Butler signed a national letter on intent to attend and play baseball for Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee.

Walters State is a Division I school participating in the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association (TJCCAA). The Senators are coached by Ken Campbell, who has put together an impressive 179-44-1 record in his four seasons at Walters State.

Along with a TJCCAA Eastern Division championship in 2001 and 2002 and a state championship and region 7 championship in 2002, the Senators captured another East Central District title in 2003 and earned a trip to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado where they finished third and won the sportsmanship award.

In addition to his three years at DHS, Butler has been a starter for the West Alabama post #29 American Legion junior and senior teams appearing in the American Legion State Tournament two of those three years. He has played for both the Boys of Baseball and Tuscaloosa Bombers travel teams.

Last summer Butler was tabbed as one of the top 100 prospects in Alabama and played in the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Showcase held at Birmingham Southern in Birmingham. And was also nominated and selected to play for the Georgia-Alabama squad at the team-One Showcase held each July at Georgia Tech University.

Butler also played in the Birmingham Southern Fall League against teams made up of players from the Birmingham area and was selected to the league’s all-star team.

He was also invited to attend the Southeastern Baseball Showcase held in Macon, Georgia last October. This showcase included the top 50 high school players from the southeast that are considered to be Division I or amateur draft prospects.

Southeastern Athletics, Inc. (SEA) a recruiting agency out of Russellville, Alabama rated Blake as one of the top players in the southeast region. Butler was contacted or recruited by more than 20 schools including Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, Western Carolina, Stetson, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Okaloosa Walton, Bellville State-Sumiton, Bellville State-Fayette and Alabama Southern.

He was invited to recruiting camps or showcases at a number of schools including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, UAB and Jacksonville State. Baseball scholarships were offered to Blake by several of these schools, but Butler chose to attend where he and his coaches felt that he could be an impact at an early stage.

“I am very proud of what this young man has accomplished. Blake has worked very hard. He and his family have made numerous sacrifices over the years to get to this level and I’m proud to see it all begin to pay off,” DHS head baseball coach James Moody said.

For Butler this event in his life has been very exciting, but now that it is over it’s time to play ball.

“I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities that were presented to me during my recruitment. All of the coaches who contacted me were great individuals with outstanding programs,” Butler said. “It’s been very exciting, but I’m relieved that is over. And I’m looking forward to this season at DHS as we compete for a state championship.”