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Commodores, Cards, Rebels get FHS standout baseball trio

Three up-and-coming Division I College Baseball programs have been “matched” with three up-and-coming major college prospects, each big contributors in Farragut High School’s two most recent Class AAA state titles.

Senior Curt Powell, two-time All-state shortstop and District 4-AAA MVP last season, signed with Vanderbilt of the SEC. He joined senior teammates Cade Stallings, All-state third baseman signing with Louisville of the Big East Conference, and pitcher Jordan Cooper, who inked papers with SEC contender Ole Miss.

The Ads’ talented trio made their choices official during back-to-back-to-back signings in the FHS Commons Tuesday, Nov. 25.

“All three of these guys started for us in 2006,” FHS head coach Tommy Pharr said. “Cooper pitched in the [2006] state tournament, Curt and Cade have been our starting shortstop and third baseman [respectively] for four years now. Won two state championships. Just a good group. I’m proud of them.”

Pharr labeled Powell “a great player, great athlete, going to be a good defensive player. Swings the bat well. Can runs. I think he’s got all the tools to be very successful in the S-E-C.

“Cade has great power, I think he’s definitely going to be a middle-of-the-lineup type of guy,” Pharr added. “He swings the ball really well, and he’s better defensively than people think. Collegiately, he’s going to be able to hit and hit with power.”

About Cooper, “’Coop’ is going to be good, he’s a left-handed pitcher, throws the ball well, has good velocity,” Pharr said. “He’s improved every year he’s been here. Just done a good job for us.”

Powell, 17, said he chose Vandy because “the school is just awesome, a degree from there means so much, definitely.” The senior said he’ll seek a business-related degree.

As for positives about the Commodores team, “The coaches are awesome, every single one of them … a big family experience, it seemed like,” said Powell, whose final list also included UT, Ole Miss and Kentucky. “They offered me something better [scholarship-wise] at Vanderbilt.”

Stallings, 18, decided upon Louisville, an NCAA Tournament team the past two seasons, because “I really liked the coaches, they were great. When I went up there the facilities, they looked brand new. Everything was in good condition.”

With Louisville apparently losing its starting third baseman after 2009, “I’ll have a chance to probably start as a freshman,” Stallings said. “Just go in there and work hard and see what happens.”

District 4-AAA “Rookie of the Year” in 2006 and two-time All-District honoree who said he led FHS in RBIs and average last season, Stallings’ list also included Ole Miss, North Carolina, Clemson and Vanderbilt.

Cooper said his choice of Ole Miss was among “the top three I had in mind,” along with LSU and Kentucky. “Ole Miss just came in there really strong at the end. As far as the campus, I just thought that was the best place for me. … I just felt more at home [there].”

Cooper said he talked to Rebels senior catcher and former standout Bearden Bulldog Brett Basham. “When I went down there for a visit one time they did have me talk to him for a pretty long time,” Cooper said. “He really did help me out, he told me everything that’s going to be going on down there.”

Cooper, 17, also mentioned UM’s “$18 million” new stadium. “Every game they have about 4,000, 5,000 fans there, so it’s always going to be an exciting atmosphere there,” he said.


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