Valdosta Daily Times

May 12, 2013

Guilliams signs with Truett McConnell

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Baseball runs in the Guilliams family. And for Casey Guilliams, he has pretty good teachers that have helped him earn an opportunity to continue his playing career.

The senior from Valdosta, whose uncle and father are the coaches at Valdosta State, signed a national letter of intent to play at Truett McConnell Wednesday, a day before the Valdosta State Blazers won the Gulf South Conference championship.

Guilliams, a catcher, will join a Bears team that went just 7-38 this season, giving him ample opportunities to develop and transition into an every day starter.

“As far as year one is concerned, I am going to work on my technique and becoming a better player,” Guilliams said. “As far as year four is concerned, I would like to be playing every game and helping others.”

While Guilliams was not an every day starter for the Wildcats, he has had the opportunity to develop his skills while learning from his baseball coaching father, Todd, the Blazers’ assistant head coach.

“As far as me developing as a player, it has been huge,” Guilliams said. “My dad has taught me so much. I have been able to go to VSU and better myself. It has been a great blessing to have my dad.”

Casey Guilliams will join the Bears, who compete at the NAIA level, this fall when he moves to Truett McConnell, a school of less than a 1,000 students located in the mountainous town of Cleveland.

“It is time for me to go on my own and see where I stand,” Guilliams said. “It is a really good school and I love the campus and I was excited for playing for Coach (Mike) Crowley.”

At Truett McConnell, Guilliams says he will major in either pre-law or chemistry, although he says he wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to coach with his father and uncle one day.

 “I would love to coach baseball if the opportunity presented itself, or maybe even coach with my dad,” Guilliams said. “Being a (graduate assistant) at VSU would be a perfect fit for me.”

After being raised in Florida and moving to Valdosta in 2008, when the Guilliams brothers took over at Valdosta State, Guilliams said he has an appreciation for Valdosta and the community.

“Being in Valdosta, this is one of the nicest places you could be,” he said. “I love the city and it is a blessing to be here. I love the town. Being here, I feel more at home.”

With his decision to attend Truett McConnell, Valdosta baseball coach Bart Shuman Guilliams showed improvement in his three years at VHS and has potential to grow in college.

“He is one of those guys where his best baseball is still down the road,”Shuman said.