The pipeline from Bayou Country to Eureka, Illinois continues to churn — sending top-tier local baseball talent to The Prairie State to continue their playing careers.
Covenant Christian Academy standout Caleb Wilson announced yesterday that he’s signed a scholarship to continue his career at Eureka College — the second local to sign with the college in the 2019 recruiting class.
Wilson said he cannot wait to get to the next level. Just following a signing ceremony, he said the opportunity to compete at the next level is one that he cherishes and has looked forward to his entire life. He joins South Lafourche High School graduate at Eureka — two locals who will try and build the rebuilding program into a consistent winner.
“It feels like I’m completely blessed,” Wilson said. “Very few high school players get the opportunity to be where I’m at and I can’t be more thankful for the opportunity.”
Wilson’s wheels earned him a spot at the next level — that and his ability to make things happen at the top of a batting lineup.
Wilson was a table setter for the Lions throughout his career — a top of the order guy who got on base, stole bases and then scored a ton of runs when the heart of the order drove him in.
Last season, Wilson hit well above .300 — helping power the Lions into the Division IV State Playoffs.
In the outfield, Wilson becomes a five-tool guy — possessing the speed and quickness to track down balls as well as anyone in the area. Those defensive plays helped save runs for the Lions throughout the season.
CCA coach Joe Teuton said at Wilson’s ceremony that Eureka College is getting a great person and a great player.
Several local players from around the area attended the signing ceremony, which Teuton said shows that Wilson is a high-character player — who also excels off the field.
Teuton has coached Wilson for literally hundreds of games — at both CCA and also during the summer for the Southland Hogs.
“I have no doubt in my mind that Caleb will make us proud,” Teuton said. “Because what he does on the field speaks for itself. … And we feel really blessed to have Caleb be part of Covenant Christian and a part of Southland Hogs baseball. I know that for me, it’s going to be hard to write a lineup out and Caleb won’t be in it.”
The path to Eureka was paved over the past several weeks. Teuton has developed relationships with the staff at Eureka, which helped him get exposure to the program.
Once Jelby Cheramie committed and signed with the Illinois school, Wilson decided to take a visit.
That visit went a long way in his decision, that, and knowing he would have a buddy to enjoy the ride with him.
“I loved it,” Wilson said of his visit. “And it definitely helps knowing someone is coming venture out with me. Jelby and I want to put Eureka on the map.”
At the next level, Wilson hopes to play center field — the position he thinks best suits his game.
But he added that he will do whatever his coaches tell him to do to help the team win.
On his visits, Eureka coaches told Wilson that his speed and quickness were attractive to them, as well as his range in the outfield.
“I’m just going to compete for a spot every day and hope at the end of the day that I start,” Wilson said. “I will accept my role wherever I get played.”
But Wilson said as his final days in Louisiana approach, it will feel weird to be at a program that’s not CCA — a place where Wilson has enjoyed so much success in the past several seasons.
Eureka hasn’t been as historically successful, struggling the past few years to find traction.
Wilson said it’s his job to go to Illinois and help get the ship sailed into calmer waters — a challenge he accepts.
“It’ll be a little odd not running out there in a Lions’ uniform,” he said. “But I know I can take the tradition of winning to Eureka and make it something special. That’s my goal.”