Double signing held at MHS

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
It was a double signing for two Manila seniors, Joel Burrow and Sasha Pannells. Pictured are players, coaches and parents, from left: seated – Joel and Jennifer Burrow and Joel; Sasha, Katherine Shelton Pannells and Brian Pannells. Standing – CRC baseball coach Tray Malone; CRC softball coaches Jordan Malone and Kourtney Brown; and Tessa Pannells.

Two Manila seniors signed letters of intent with Crowley's Ridge College on Monday, April 30.

Friends, family, coaches and teammates gathered to congratulate Joel Burrow and Sasha Pannells as they signed with the CRC Pioneers.

Sasha, Lady Lion shortstop, signed to play softball, and Joel, Lion baseball, golf and basketball player, signed to play golf and baseball for CRC.

“This is a big deal for Manila High School,” Principal and Athletic Director Mark Manchester said. “We want to thank them for everything they have done. They have represented our school with class and dignity. They have done things right every day."

Sasha's softball coach Craig Wheeler expressed his congratulations.

“I am proud to be a part of coaching Sasha and watching her grow up,” Wheeler said. “It is a goal to see our athletes continue playing at the college level.”

CRC softball coaches Jordan Malone and Kourtney Brown were on hand for the signing.

Sasha said she is excited to have the opportunity to continue playing at the college level. CRC is close to home and family.

Sasha was named Rookie of the Year her freshman year; best on base percentage her sophomore year; received the Golden Glove her junior year; and was All Conference team her sophomore and junior years.

Sasha and her teammates finished third in the District Tournament.

Joel, a basketball and golf player, had not played baseball for a couple years and returned to the mound his senior year.

“He played like he had never taken off,” Coach Derik Drewett said. “He came back hitting and so far this season he has 20 hits, 7 doubles, 1 homerun, 20 RBIs, 25 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. For pitching he is 3-0 with a 2.3 ERA.”

Joel also plays first base and left field.

“He can play where we need him,” Coach Drewett said. “He is a versatile athlete.”

The Lions finished first in District, runner-up in Regionals and will play this week at state at Smackover.

Coach Lee Wimberly, Joel's basketball coach, also expressed his congratulations to both the Manila seniors. Coach John Deaton, MHS golf coach, was not able to attend.

“I've watched him mature and grow,” Coach Wimberly said. “I'm super proud of him. He is a tremendous athlete in basketball, baseball and golf. CRC is getting a tremendous athlete. We will miss him. He has helped me become a better coach and person.”

The Lions golf team won the 2016 and 2017 District Tournament Championships. Joel was medalist in the District Tournament his senior year.

Joel will play at least one more basketball game as he was chosen to play in the All-Star game on June 23.

CRC baseball coach Tray Malone was in Manila for the signing. Coach Malone is a former Manila Lion graduating in 2010.

Head baseball coach and golf coach Brenden Camp was unable to attend.

Teammates and guests joined the signees at a reception following the ceremony.

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