Getting a chance to play for Talladega College head coach Will Ramos was the deciding factor in Etheridge’s decision to become a Tornadoes.
“I went down there and I really like coach Ramos,” Etheridge said. “I think he can help me better my game. I really like him and I think I made a good choice. I think he will give me a shot at starting and I think we are going to have a pretty good team next year.”
Last season, Etheridge showed what he could do with his glove in limited time.
The rising junior recorded nine assists, seven puts and he had a fielding percentage of .800.
At the plate, he struggles as he only recorded two hits in 17 at-bats for Calhoun.
“I have a pretty solid glove,” Etheridge said. “Hopefully, I will be some where in the infield. I have been working on my bat all summer getting it stronger. I think I will be ready to come down there and hit the ball good as well as play good defense.”
Etheridge said spending two years in Decatur at Calhoun Community College helped him mature and gave him some life-long friends.
“It really didn’t go as planned,” Etheridge said. “I met some good people, got some good games in and I grew up a lot. I think it was a good experience for me.”
Ramos believes Etheridge has the versatility to play every position in the infield at a high level.
“He is a second baseman coming out of junior college,” Ramos said. “He will probably be a back up behind (Hector) Justo and Chase (Benfield). He can hit from the right side for power. He is a big kid; he is 6-foot-2. He can play first base, third base; he plays every single position in the infield. He is a guy that is going to help us to maintain a quality glove when we need it. You know Chase throws a little bit. Justo, last year he needed some days off and the same with Bronson (Honeycutt). His hitting needs to improve a lot, but we are confident that he is going to make those adjustments.”
Will Thompson, who signed last week, will also be coming in from Calhoun College.
Etheridge said having Thompson there with him makes the transition to Talladega a little smoother.
“Going with some one you know always make you feel comfortable,” he said.
He said he is going to get it done in the classroom and in the diamond.
“I get the job done in the classroom and on the field,” Etheridge said. “I usually make A’s and B’s in the classroom. I give 100 percent in everything that I do.”
Etheridge plans to be a physician’s assistant when his playing days are over.
For the next two years, Etheridge is going to focus on becoming a better player as well as make the Tornadoes become a better team.
“Hopefully, I can get my numbers up by having two good years,” Etheridge said. “Then maybe I can go in the draft or move on to further my education.”
Contact LaVonte Young at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at LYoung_DHSports.