NEWPORT—Any time a local athlete moves on to the next level it’s always special. Cocke County’s Alec McCampbell’s situation has a full family feel, though.

Before crossing the stage in early May, McCampbell made his college declaration to continue his academics and baseball career at Milligan College.

“This means everything to me,” McCampbell said. “Baseball has been my life since I was young. I’m glad I got to celebrate this with all my coaches and teammates. They’ve meant so much to me and helped me along this journey to reach this point in my playing career.”

Following the same path as his high school coach Andy Chrisman, and having his father Greg McCampbell on staff at CCHS all along the way gave his signing all the more family feel.

“It’s always a fun day when we get to have these signings,” Chrisman said. “It’s really the culmination of a lot of hard work on (McCampbell’s) part. I’m really proud to see him achieve such an accomplishment, and it’s great for the rest of the team to be here and witness what they too can achieve if they dedicate themselves like he has.”

Chrisman was also once a player for the Milligan College Buffaloes, making McCampbell’s decision all the more special on a personal level for the Fighting Cocks’ coach.

“It makes it a little more special he’s going to my old stomping grounds,” Chrisman said. “(Jarrett) Ramsey and I both played our collegiate careers at Milligan, and it’s a special place to me. My four years at Milligan were the best of my life. I made lifelong friends there, and I’m excited for Alec to get the chance to have those same experiences I did.”

As a senior McCampbell had a .312 batting average and .440 on base percentage. He scored 26 runs and his aggression on the base path lent him 13 stolen bases.

Hard work and effort are terms that consistently come up when discussing the veteran outfielder. It’s what put McCampbell in position to move on to the next level and have the chance to succeed not only as a college athlete, but student.

“For (McCampbell) the work is just starting,” Chrisman said. “He has a new opportunity ahead of him that he’ll get to start on this fall. He’ll have the opportunity to advance himself not only as a player but as a student, and I’m really excited for him to see what he makes of it.

“Being a student athlete is like handling two full-time jobs while not getting paid for it. He’s going to have to be great with time management and really keep a focus on his academics.”

McCampbell becomes the seventh player that Chrisman has had the privilege to see off to the collegiate ranks since he took over as head coach in 2010. Going through the same process that awaits McCampbell, Chrisman knows he has the tools for success for the next chapter in his story.

“Getting an opportunity to play at the next level is amazing to me,” McCampbell said. “When I took a trip to Milligan I instantly fell in love with everything about the campus. I think I’m going to get a great education up there. I’m just excited to get up there and get started.”

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