Sam Ellis of Elizabethtown, a senior at Harrells Christian Academy, signed Thursday to play Division III baseball at Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Va.
On the state and national circuit, Ellis was named to the 15U National Championship All-Tournament Team in 2015 and the 17U team for pitchers in 2017. These WWBA (World Wood Bat Association) championship games are played on a national level amongst 400-plus teams at the Perfect Game Complex in Lake Pointe, Ga. At Harrells, Ellis has won both the MVP award and the Coaches Award, and last year was selected to All-Conference.
“I am so happy and proud of Sam,” said Coach Winfred Johnson. “I believe he has found a great fit in Hampden Sydney, and I think he will be able to contribute right away. It seems like yesterday he was a freshman getting the last four outs against Richmond County and giving HCA a win. I am excited about his senior year and look forward to his leadership.”
Ellis said he felt an immediate connection with the baseball coaches at Hampden-Sydney — a level of ease not experienced at the larger universities he visited.
When visiting H-SC, the first person to introduce himself was the head of the biology department, stressing the importance of the academic career Ellis wants to undertake.
That meeting made a noticeable and lasting impression, as well as the numerous handshakes and greetings of the students along the campus. For Ellis, coming from a small town and a small school, this show of true Southern hospitality made it clear that Hampden-Sydney is the perfect place to continue playing the game he loves.
HCA Headmaster Kevin Kunst said he is thrilled.
“As a Hampden-Sydney man myself, I couldn’t be more proud to have Sam move from being my student to being my fellow Tiger. Sam is a gifted athlete, but more importantly, he is also a young man of character who will thrive at H-SC,” the headmaster stated.