BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB)– This week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week sponsored by Perry and Young P.A. is Blountstown’s, Colton Ryals.
The senior short stop leads his team in runs and home runs this season, and plans to continue playing ball in college.
“I’m going to Pensacola State, and it was just, right off the bat it felt like home,” Ryals said.
Finding the right fit to play collegiate baseball was important to Ryals, and his coach, Emory Horne, says it was difficult because he was highly recruited.
“A lot of colleges wanted him,” Horne said. “And he wanted to stay Panhandle JUCO so when Pensacola offered that where he went to and he’s going to be a good one for him. He’s one of those kids, he’ll beat me to the field and he’ll leave after me, he locks everything down, he’s just steady works.”
The coach holds his short stop in high esteem, as he sets the example for his entire team, but Ryals says they reason he came to Blountstown was to play under Horne.
“I actually went to Hosford Elementary all the way until I was a freshman that I transferred over to Blountstown just to play baseball for Coach Horne,” Ryals said. “He just had an amazing track record, and I was always around him through travel ball and stuff and he was just a great coach.”
Ryals holds a 3.8 GPA at Blountstown and plans to study to become a physical therapist as Pensacola State, but Horne believes he be playing the sport he loves for a while.
“I think he’s going to play baseball for a long time, a lot longer than he’s planning on,” Horne said. “I think he’s going to be in the game a while, just because he’s so dedicated to it, and whatever he does, he’s going to be really good at, whatever future he takes.”