Russellville baseball teammates sign with Northwest-Shoals
In a celebration held in front of family and friends, two Russellville High School baseball standouts made their plans for the future known by signing with Northwest-Shoals Community College.
RHS seniors Banks Langston and Brayden Spurgeon put pen to paper Dec. 6. They will remain teammates as Patriots after their days as Golden Tigers come to an end.
Langston is the 2022 5A pitcher of the year and is the son of NW-SCC head baseball coach David Langston.
Before restarting the college program, Coach Langston worked with the pitchers during the 2021 and 2022 seasons as a member of the RHS coaching staff under former head coach Chris Heaps.
“He had some other opportunities with other junior colleges and four-year schools, and as a ninth- and 10th-grader, he really had no clue that this would ever happen. When I got the job, it immediately changed,” Coach Langston said about this unique opportunity. “I think he’s mature enough to handle it. He knows the expectation; he’s a coach’s son. He knows that, as far as taking anything for granted – he knows that’s not going to work, and it never has.”
“I’m very excited,” said Banks Langston. “I never thought I would end up playing for my dad in college, so that’s a big thing.” The right-hander said he is looking forward to being a part of the team at Northwest-Shoals during the first few years of the return of the baseball program there – but first, he has a shot at another ring at RHS during his senior year under new head coach Jess Smith.
“Maybe we can go back-to-back-to back, so we’ll see about that,” he said. “I’m excited to play under Coach Smith; I feel like he’s going to do a really good job.”
Spurgeon has also proven to be a top pitcher on the mound for RHS. “He’s a strike-thrower, and he’s got an elite breaking ball,” Coach Langston explained. “He might be a conference starter for us, but when I see Brayden, with nine-inning games at the college level, you’ve got to have guys that come out of the bullpen and fill the gaps, whether it’s the sixth, seventh or whatever it might be. He can come in and throw that breaking ball, whether it’s getting three outs or six outs, and I think he’s going to fit right into that.”
Spurgeon said he is excited about being able to play at Northwest-Shoals. “Right when Coach Langston got the job, I knew that I had been with him for a while, so I thought I might get the opportunity to go play with them,” Spurgeon said. “When he gave me the call that he was offering me, right then I knew that’s where I wanted to go.”
The Patriot roster has a number of former Russellville players, and Spurgeon said he knows the group will continue to work well together in the future. “The dynamic last year was incredible,” he said. “The teamwork was second to none, and it’s going to be really fun to play with those guys again.”