Roe ready to prove himself at Concordia

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 1, 2004

Concordia College head baseball coach John Niblett knows his newest acquisition has a lot to learn and plenty to prove.

As he signed his scholarship papers on Friday to play baseball at Concordia College, Spence Roe also knew he had plenty of hard work ahead of him.

“I’m happy here. I can’t want to play,” said Roe after signing with the Hornets. The former Meadowview Christian School standout brings with him some impressive numbers from the high school level. He led the team in batting average (.476), home runs (5, including three in one game against Bessemer), runs batted in, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. He also fared well on the mound, finishing with a 2-1 record and three saves during his senior season.

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Still, Niblett knows Roe has plenty of work ahead of him.

“He’s got to get stronger,” the Hornets’ head coach said. “We have eight scrimmages in September. He’ll have the opportunity to see where he is and what he needs to work on.

“We have a lot of competition and you’re going to have to work hard to get a position on this team,” Niblett added. “That’s what life is about – competition. We’re all starting from scratch. From the first day, everything’s going to be even.”

Niblett also advised his newest player to be confident in his playing abilities.

“You’ve got to believe in yourself,” he said. “God has to be first, academics second and baseball third. You may as well give it everything you can, because you can’t take it with you.”

One of Roe’s biggest mound wins of his prep career came in an 8-7 victory over Tuscaloosa, the state’s top-ranked team. He said that game and a few others had him believing he would play elsewhere at the college level.

“I was so sure I was going to play somewhere,” he said, “that I took it for granted. My mom suggested I try Concordia College. They said they would be happy to have me here. So I decided to come here.”

Along with playing in his hometown comes the pressure of playing in front of family and friends. Roe said that wouldn’t be a problem for him.

“My parents have been there almost every game I played in,” he said. “Once you go through the gate and onto the field, you forget all about the pressure.”

The former Trojans slugger called his former coach Rick Jackson one of the best motivators he knows and he would be one of the first people he calls if need be.

“If I start slumping,” he said, “I have about five or six people I can call. He’s on the list.”

While at Concordia College, Roe said he would major in Elementary Education and possibly go into the seminary and into preaching.

He added that coaching also could be in his future.