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SHEPHERDSVILLE – Southeastern Illinois College baseball coach Jeremy Irlbeck seems to know how to get to Bullitt County.
Recently, Bullitt Central senior Cody Powell became the third Bullitt Countian to sign to play with the junior college in Harrisburg, Illinois, joining Cody Montgomery, Kyle Peyton and Nathan Koller. Powell made it all official recently when he signed in front of parents and teammates in a ceremony at the high school.
The first contact between Powell and the Falcon coaching staff came at a showcase event at Elizabethtown High School back in the fall. In October, Powell went for a visit and worked out again for the coaching staff. Powell’s interest quickly developed and it didn’t take long for the two parties to agree to join forces.
The Bullitt Central senior talked to one other school, but SIC was the only school in which he worked out.
The 17-year-old son of Dorothy and Timmy Powell has been in the Bullitt Central program since he was a seventh-grader. A life-long resident of Bullitt County, Powell started playing baseball locally before shifting to the Okolona Youth League when he was seven and playing there until he was 13 years of age.
There were a few summer stints with the Louisville Legends, a travel team, before becoming a player for the Cougars.
Through the first month of the season, Powell was hitting .380.
“They said I would be a catcher or designated hitter,” Powell said. “I would rather be a catcher all the time. I’ve always been a catcher.”
Powell plans to major in management and hopes to concentrate on sports management.
Powell has always been a catcher, but his play improved with the arrival of new assistant coach Roy Taylor before his junior season. Taylor was a catcher in college and he has brought out the best in Powell.
“As he goes is how we go,” Bullitt Central head coach G.J. Moore said after Powell signed. “He has a good attitude for the game.
“It’s always a good day when we do these signings,” the coach added. “We’re getting more and more of these. That’s good. A college education is important.”
There was mutual agreement that Powell will need to get stronger to play at the next level.
“He has to hit it hard,” Moore said of getting in the weight room. “He doesn’t love the weight room. That will change. His apartment there will be next to the weight room. He will be there a lot.”
Powell will need to be joined there by some of his future teammates. As of last week, Southeastern Illinois had an 8-40 record this spring. The Falcons play in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Despite being in the Bullitt Central program for six years, Powell has never been part of a team that advanced out of district play to the regional tournament. The senior will be looking to change that in the next few weeks.
“I am ready to win the district title coming up,” Powell said. “That would be the big way to go out at Bullitt Central. This is the best team I’ve played on at Bullitt Central.”