By Melissa McCaghren
Slaton High School graduate TJ Payne signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Wayland University Wednesday evening (June 9) in the High School gym.
Baseball Coach Dilon Chancellor reflected a bit on Payne’s three years in baseball. “He’s a guy that played first base for us first two years,” he said. “He caught a little bit, then rolling into baseball season this year, we were looking for a guy that was going to take that position, and TJ was the guy that stepped up and said he wanted to do that job and he wanted to be an every day player.
“We just want to thank TJ for that and the countless hours that TJ has put in the indoor especially rolling into his last year of baseball, and I definitely knew that paid off.”
Chancellor thanked his parents for what they did to help Payne succeed in the sport. “I just want to thank his parents for the sacrifices and believing in us as coaches, and trusting in us with their son through the process and through his three out of four years of high school,” he added. “TJ, man I’m just proud of you man, and just thank you for everything you’ve done for this program and being that guy that gives other kids underneath you and the guys to come hope, that there is a chance to play at the next level.
“We’re just proud of you, the community’s proud of you and the coaches are proud of you.”
Payne thanked everyone for attending his signing to play with the Pioneers.
“I just want to thank everyone for showing up today, thank you coaches, friends and family and teammates throughout the year,” he said. “We had an on and off season, struggles…
“I just want to thank everybody for the support through the whole season.”