- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Ex-FCS star commits to CU
May 24, 2007 12:00 am
Former Friendship Christian catcher Michael Wheeler is apparently coming home to play baseball for Cumberland University.
Wheeler, an All-State performer in football and baseball for the Commanders, is finishing his second season at Walters State Community College, a team he helped lead to the junior-college national championship last year. The slugger signed to play for Kentucky last November, but failed to meet NCAA academic guidelines to play for the SEC's Wildcats.
Cumberland coach Woody Hunt confirmed Monday night Wheeler has committed to the Bulldogs.
"He's got some summer school work to do," said Hunt, noting Wheeler will be finishing up his requirements at Vol State. "He hasn't signed yet, but after he gets his summer school work done, he'll sign."
Wheeler is still eligible to sign with the Kansas City Royals, who picked him with the first pick of the 28th round in last June's draft. Because he is in junior college, he remains bound to K.C. until next month's draft. Hunt said Wheeler won't sign with the Royals, but he could sign with whoever picks him this year.
If Wheeler does suit up for the Bulldogs next year, it'll mark a coming full circle of sorts behind the plate. Another Mike Wheeler was Cumberland's catcher on the Dawgs' first NAIA World Series team in 1988. That Mike Wheeler later married former Lebanon High basketball and volleyball player Amy Averitt.
"He was a pretty good one, too," Hunt said.
The Michael Wheeler now playing is the son of Mike and Amy Wheeler, no relation to the aforementioned couple.
"That's pretty wild," Hunt said of the coincidence.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.