Leveling up

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

EA’s Jackson Bonner to play college baseball at LBWCC

Jackson Bonner’s mom handed him a baseball while he was in his crib, and the rest is history.

The EA senior took his love of baseball from an early age and is now taking it a step further as he committed to play baseball at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia recently.

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Bonner said a big part of what led to his decision is his overall goal to play for Troy University.

“LBW does a lot of things with Troy,” he said. “I thought LBW was my best opportunity. They’ve got a good program, and win a lot of games. I have a lot of friends who go to a lot of schools that LBW plays. It’ll give me an opportunity to connect with them. I know a lot of people there now, and it just feels like home.”

One of the main reasons why Bonner chose LBWCC is because of head baseball coach Steve Helms. Helms is starting his 28th season as head coach for the Saints this year.

“They just have a really successful program,” Bonner said. “I just want to go somewhere I can play. He (Helms) told me that he would give me the opportunity to play. I really like coach Helms a lot.

“He’s a father figure to me. He’ll invite you over to his house for dinner to talk about things, and then when you step on to the diamond, it’s serious business,” he said.

At EA, Bonner plays at shortstop for the Cougars. He’ll more than likely play at second base for the Saints.

As for this year’s EA team, Bonner said that the Cougars will field a young team, but their work ethic will be on full display.

“We’re going to be young, but we have a lot of people who are eager to learn and eager to play,” he said.

Bonner said the reason why baseball is his chosen sport is because he loves the game.

“It’s just all I’ve grew up knowing,” he said. “When I was in my baby crib, my mom gave me a baseball to play with. I’ve just always loved baseball. Here, I can be the black sheep in the school. I can be set apart and I can focus on baseball, and be the baseball guy.

“It’s just one of those sports where it’s a smart man’s game,” he added. “You have to constantly work on different parts of the game.”

Bonner is the son of Gil Bonner and Kyna McDonald, all of Atmore.