Baseball: Camden Angell inks with Martin Methodist (TN) College

Camden Angell signs with Martin Methodist College
Camden Angell signs with Martin Methodist College


With aspirations of contributing to the success of the Cerritos College baseball program, Camden Angell made the 2,011 mile journey from Goodpasture Christian (TN) High after graduating in 2018. His 2019 season ended when he had to go under the knife due to an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, while the 2020 season came to an aburpt end due to a worldwide pandemic. All while this was happening, Angell, a Business Administration major, earned his AA Degree and parlayed that into a scholarship with NAIA school Martin Methodist (TN) College, which is just a littlie over an hour south of his high school.

Angell is the second Falcon to sign with a four-year school, as pitcher Andrew Arguello signed with Bluefield (VA) College).

"It's a real blessing to be able to play in front of my family and friends," said Angell, who still has four years of playing eligibility.

A forgettable 2019 season transitioned into a 2020 year with new faces and different results. The Falcons were 13-8 on the year at the time the season came to an end and had won two of their last three games on walk-off hits. With the ability to return to a Falcon team that was adding more pieces to a championship puzzle, Angell made the decision to leave.

"My academics were the main reason I am transferring,' stated Angell. "I received my Associate's Degree from Cerritos College at the end of the spring semester, and in order to continue to play at Cerritos, I would've had to take a whole semester off of school, plus take classes that would not transfer just to play baseball. With two years until receiving my Bachelor's Degree, I really felt like I need to pursue both my academic and baseball goals and Cerritos was not a good fit for achieving both of those. I was floored when I realized I was going to have to leave California. All of my friends and teammates meant a lot to me, and this decision was very difficult. I will remember the camaraderie we had as a team this past year. Each person carried their own weight and we held each other accountable. We all believed in our teammates and wanted to see each other succeed. Our chemistry was powerful no matter who was in the lineup. I will never forget those days grinding with the outfielders side by side. It didn't matter if we were taking fly balls or hitting off of the hack attack, we all strived to be better than we were when practice started."

Camden Angell makes a diving catch in a game Angell had to battle for playing time in a talented and deep outfield. He did appear in six games and was 2-for-12 at the plate with a pair of walks and scored four runs. He played solid defense in left field and even recorded five putouts, with an outfield assist in a starting role when the Falcons defeated Pasadena City College.

The amount of playing time did not reflect on what head coach Vic Buttler felt about Angell. 

"When I took over the program, I knew Cam was working to overcome an arm injury he suffered in his non-throwing shoulder,' stated the first-year coach. "I would see him in the cages performing one-hand hitting drills off the tee with his good arm. After having a sit down with Cam about trusting the process and not worrying about things out of his control (in regards to recovering from his injury), I really began to see him flourish. He loosened up and start appreciating being on the baseball field daily and enjoying the camaraderie and amazing energy of his teammates. Cam's work ethic both on and off the field is one of his biggest assets. His motivation and dedication to be the best in the classroom (4.0 GPA) and on the field separated him from the rest of the competition."

It started with Angell making the decision to travel to California to play community college baseball without ever stepping on Kincaid Field. He saw some information about the Falcons on a recruiting website and was drawn in by the tradition of the program. The lure of the competition level was also a motivating factor, not to mention the weather and the beaches. Angell was also unaware that he wasn't the first person to play for the Falcons from his Madison, TN high school. Just the year before, pitcher Mitchell Peak had played for Cerritos, although neither were aware.

"I had heard and read that the level of competition was pretty intense and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to experience it first-hand," stated Angell. "Athletically, I learned so much from our coaching staff about the game of baseball. My baseball IQ grew so much during my time at Cerritos. Being surrounded by former professionals was a great experience and a great opportunity to learn from them and pick their brain. Academically, Cerritos prepared me very well with the business classes I took."

The road for Angell wasn't an easy one. Early into the 2019 season Angell injured his shoulder and it forced him to shut down for the rest of the year and endure surgery. At the time of his injury, Angell had only appeared in one game as a pinch-hitter. All of the hard work to get ready for his first season in California became an uphill battle, as he spent months working on strengthing his shoulder, while at the same time, realizing he also needed to spend hours in the batting cage to get his swing back.

"The strength level of my shoulder was 80% at the beginning of the season," said Angell. "I had all of the strength I needed to be fully functional on the baseball field and not worry about re-injury. But some parts of my game had to adjust. I had to have an inside out swing at all times because if I got around the ball, my shoulder did not handle that well. I also couldn't get to the inside pitch in the beginning of the 2020 season like I used to before my injury. I had to back up off the dish and really commit to taking the ball up the middle or the other way. If I pulled it, I had to see the ball early and out of his hand. I was full strength and full quickness when the season ended up being canceled. My swing kept getting better and feeling better, so the cancelation of the season was a tough pill to swallow. When the season was canceled, it was just like, 'What can I do each and every day of this quarantine to be the best prepared for the next time I step out on a baseball field.' And that was it. That was where I was mentally at the time and that is what pushed me through the cancelation of the season."

Now, Angell will get his chance to perform at the level that made him a .314 hitter his senior season in high school. Also a member of four Class A District championship teams, as well as four consecutive Sub-State Championships, Angell will be part of a team that was 15-3 prior to the season's end and boasted 16 players from his home state of Tennessee.

"Cam is really disciplined at the plate," added Buttler. "He trusted and applied our hitting philosophy, which in resulted in quality at-bats. Cam has the potential to be a .300 hitter at the next level. Martin Methodist added a winner and leader to their roster in Camden Angell. Camden is resilient, dependable, and will lead by example through hard work, focus, and discipline. Cam will do the little things coaches really appreciate on top of boosting the team's overall GPA. I am very proud of Camden. He's worked hard for this moment and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!"

And all it took was a 2,000-mile trip, season-ending surgery and a national pandemic for Angell to play in front of family and friends to once again showcase his talents.