Dressed in a black suit and orange tie, Trinity senior pitcher Zach Reid took the next step in his career when he signed to play for the Tennessee Volunteers next season.
While sharply dressed, his choice of attire wasn’t pleasing to all members of his family.
“My grandfather graduated from Vanderbilt,” Reid said. “He’s a pretty big Vandy fan, but he’s kind of toned it down since I signed with Tennessee. But he’s still probably going to jab me if we get beat by them or something.”
But Reid has plans for a jab of his own.
“When I saw him today, he had just a neutral tie on, it was navy blue, and I said, ‘I’ve got to get you an orange one,'” Reid said. “And he said, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for that.’ But I think if I get him one he’d wear it.”
All friendly family quarrels aside, Reid chose the Vols over offers from West Virginia, Coastal Carolina, Samford and Pittsburgh — a long way from his days as a Dirtbag.
Reid’s father, Glenn, helped start the Montgomery Dirtbags almost a decade ago and has helped multiple former players go the next level.
“It was a team that my dad and a couple of the other dads here at Trinity started when we were 9 years old. I had really just started pitching, and he made a commitment that we were going to play the best competition in the South and try to get these kids better,” Reid said. “Twenty-nine former Dirtbags who had played a tournament with us or were there the entire time are either committed, playing somewhere and there’s actually one in the minors right now. So that’s pretty cool.”
Reid’s pitching coach — Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Wesley Wright — knew Reid was going to be special since his little league days.
“I’ve worked with Zach for over 10 years now. I started when I was in low A ball, just trying to get some extra cash and help out the kids and help them learn about the game I love,” Wright said. “Zach was one of the kids that I first started working with, and I saw such great arm action and great mechanics and the ability to repeat his delivery, so I was kind of intrigued of the possibility of working with him and seeing him grow up and hopefully that this day would be a possibility. It’s kind of cool to see it happen.”
Reid boasted a 5-1 record, 1.07 ERA and 50 strikeouts last season for the Wildcats, helping them win a second consecutive Class 3A state title. After losing six seniors from last year’s team, Reid will now be the Wildcats’ ace.
“It’s exciting. It’s a great opportunity for Zach and his family,” Trinity coach Ken Whittle said. “It’s always nice to see one of our guys go and play at the next level.”