When Glenwood’s Carson Allison was growing up, he watched when oldest brother Austin signed to play baseball at Samford. He later saw brother Will repeat the event when he signed to play at Wallace State in Hanceville, Ala.
On Wednesday, Allison got the chance to follow in his brothers’ footsteps.
Allison signed to play baseball at West Florida in a ceremony at Glenwood. Allison leaves the Gators program having won three state championships, including one his senior year.
“It’s special,” Allison said. “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little kid seeing my brothers sign. It’s finally my turn.”
Allison, who played center field for the Gators, explained the decision to become a West Florida Argonaut was not easy. He said he struggled with going so far from home and spent a considerable amount of time discussing the move with Glenwood head coach Tim Fanning.
With his decision finally made, Allison pointed out three aspects that eventually drew him to the school.
“The coaches are great, it’s a really good organization and it’s at the beach, too,” Allison said.
For Fanning, Allison’s signing marks the second time in his coaching career he’s had a set of three brothers go off and play collegiately.
Fanning pointed out Allison’s standout senior season, which included leading the team in batting average, triples and stolen bases. But he also talked about knowing Allison for so many years, recalling when Allison was “knee high” and running around while his brothers played.
“That’s the thing: to have a person like that in our program, he’s the third brother,” Fanning said. “You’re talking about a span of 14 or 15 years. That’s truly special, to have been a part of basically their entire family dynamic for that long.”
Fanning, who just finished off his 14th season as Glenwood head coach with his eighth AISA state title, said days like Wednesday are what he cherishes the most about the coaching profession.
“(It’s great) seeing kids grow up to not only be great baseball players but great young men who are going to go and be husbands and fathers and pillars in the community at some point,” Fanning said. “That’s really the blessing of coaching.”
Fanning had the chance to watch Allison grow up. According to Allison, Fanning and many others around Glenwood helped him a great deal in that process.
“I’ve been here since K-3,” Allison said. “I’ve seen tons of baseball games here. I’ve watched my brothers play, and it’s taught me so much.”
Allison was one of 13 seniors who went out with a state title, the third in their time with the Gators program. Allison shined in the series-deciding Game 3, going 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs in the 10-0 victory.
It was an unforgettable close to his playing career at the school, and on Wednesday, Allison and his friends and family had the chance to celebrate what’s next.
“It’s awesome, seeing the whole school get out and watch me sign,” Allison said. “It’s a special moment.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports