Wallace to continue career at Williams Baptist College

Thursday, August 29, 2002
Ryan Wallace signs as coach John Katrosh and Wallace's parents, Johnnye and Keith look on.

LEACHVILLE Things just keep getting better for Leachville's Ryan Wallace.

Wallace, a 2001 graduate of Buffalo Island Central High School, last year was named as one of several state finalists for the national Wendy's High School Heisman Award.

His senior year at BIC also saw him selected to the state All-Star high school baseball team.

Now, capping off his high school career, he has added another feather in his cap by signing a national letter-of-intent to play collegiate baseball for the Williams Baptist College Eagles in Walnut Ridge.

"Baseball has always been my favorite sport," said Wallace, who has also excelled at basketball for BIC.

"This is a great opportunity for me and I hope to be able to contribute to the team right away."

Wallace has had numerous achievements during his tenure at BIC. He was named All-Region in his sophomore year and has been named All-District in all four years of his high school play. During his junior year, he was honored by being selected as All-District, All-Region and All-County tournament team member. His senior year he was recognized for his play by being named to the All-State team.

"I've been playing baseball since t-ball," Wallace said. "I've always liked the game. Coach (Bill) Taylor has taught me a lot. He taught me the "right way" to do things. He showed me the proper way to warm up, taught me how to handle special situations such as hit-and-runs, double steals and other things. He taught me the little things," he said.

During Wallace's senior year, he compiled an overall record of 10-2 for the Mustangs while contributing to BIC's success at the plate with a batting average of over .300.

Choosing to play with Williams was not a hard choice for Wallace as he stated, "Coach Katrosh is a very smart man. He knows the game of baseball and he seems like a very good man. He showed interest in me and made me feel like he really wanted me. The school is relatively close to home and I was eager to sign with them."

Wallace also added that Williams is academically the kind of school he wanted to attend.

"They have a high percentage of graduates who want to study pre-law," Wallace said. "That's what I want to do."

Wallace first was introduced to Williams due to a tryout held by coach Katrosh earlier this summer.

"Coach held a tryout and I attended and soon after, he called me back," Wallace said. "They seemed to want me more than anyone else did, so it was an easy decision for me.

"I'm still learning the game right now," he added, "but I hope to learn enough quickly to be able to jump in and help them out right away."

In addition to high school play, Wallace has been active in American Legion action.

He has been a member of the Jonesboro Ricemen, but for the last two years has played in the Blytheville American Legion league.

"American Legion is the highest level of amateur baseball short of college ball," he said. "I've learned a lot through Legion play."

In addition to being a star hurler, Wallace is also proficient at shortstop and third base.

He said his biggest accomplishment to date has been being named to the All-State team.

"That was just a thrill," he said.

"I want to learn more and more about the game and I really want to just get in there and help the Eagles win some ball games."

Wallace is the son of Keith and Johnnye Wallace of Leachville.

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