Northridge Multi-Sport Star Commits to Shelton St. Baseball
Northridge High School multi-sport athlete Whitt Winfield announced his commitment to the Shelton State baseball program Friday afternoon. Winfield, a senior catcher for the Jaguars, also played quarterback for the football team.
"I chose Shelton State because I have a very good relationship with the coaching staff and believe they give me the best opportunity to continue my baseball career," Winfield said.
Winfield joining the Buccaneer program makes him a legacy player as his father, Zane, also played for the Shelton State program. Winfield said his family's history on the diamond is a driving force in his decision.
"My grandfather played at Mississippi State and my dad also played," Winfield said. "I feel like it’s always been in my blood line and meant for me to play."
Winfield said he wants to help the Bucs continue their winning ways and transition that success into a future in baseball.
"Most importantly I want to bring a World Series to Shelton," Winfield said. "Coach [Bobby] Sprowl is a very respected coach in the state and I feel like he deserves that more than anyone."
Shelton State made the NJCAA World Series in 2021 as a No. 9 seed and have been to five World Series tournaments under Sprowl, but have yet to win it all in his impressive 31-year career.
According to Prep Baseball Report, Winfield sports a strong pop time (a measure of stance to throw to second base as a catcher) of 1.89-1.98 seconds. He also displayed his speed with a 6.8 60-yard dash at a November camp. Winfield enters his senior season having hit above the .300 mark in each of his previous three seasons.
Winfield said he's played both baseball and football for most of his life and never saw much struggle in juggling the two. He said he expects his successful football career will be a positive for the next stage in his baseball career.
"Football has made me a tougher baseball player and has really helped with my leadership on the field," Winfield said. "I want to bring my quarterback mentality to the baseball field and be able to be a leader for the team."
Winfield modestly called football a fun hobby, but with over 4,500 career yards as a quarterback for the Tuscaloosa Academy Knights and Jaguars, Winfield had an admirable career on the field. The Jaguars' 2021 season got off the a thunderous start, going 6-0 to begin the campaign, capped with Winfield's 71-yard quarterback sneak to topple the Gordo Green Wave.
Now with his eyes set on the baseball diamond, Winfield thanks his mother, Kathy, and his Northridge coaching staff for their help during his recruitment.
"My mom has been the person that has guided me through my college selection since I was a freshman," Winfield said. "I always want to throw in my appreciation for Coach [Guy] Howard and Coach [Tyler] Wilburn at Northridge high school for leading me in the right during and playing a huge role in my success."
The Northridge Jaguars will open the 2022 baseball season against Wetumpka, February 14 in Sweet Water, Alabama.