E.A. Sports Today

A real Alpha wolf

Brody Syer, the ‘Alpha wolf’ of Oxford’s baseball team, is a real wolf now after signing with West Georgia

West Georgia is signing Oxford’s Brody Syer as a pitcher. Syer goes into Tuesday night with a 4-1 record this season and a 27-4 mark in his career. (Photos by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – One by one the Oxford coaches who have had so much influence on Brody Syer’s high school playing career walked up the podium in the Sports Arena and to a man had the same kind of story to tell.

If there was a play to be made, a hit to be delivered or an out to be gotten, they shared, Syer always seems to be the player to deliver it. It was uncanny to them the number of times in the two-sport star’s career he has been in the right place at the precise right time.

BRODY SYER

Whether a game-winning grand slam in an important area baseball series against Pell City as a freshman, a series of meaningful pitching performance in the playoffs or a big interception early in a football playoff game, he always has stood and delivered.

“He just had a knack for making plays, being a catalyst,” Yellow Jackets football coach Ryan Herring told the students assembled to witness the next chapter in Syer’s career.

“The moment was never got too big for Brody Syer,” assistant football coach Lee Ozmint said. “He gets the most out of his talent of any player I’ve ever coached.”

Syer was the perfect spot for the next chapter in his career Monday. He signed to play baseball at the University of West Georgia where the Wolves hope he continues to be Brody-on-the-spot.

It’s appropriate the senior is signing with a team called the Wolves. The theme of this year’s Oxford baseball team is Pack 57, a reference to being the 57th team in Oxford baseball history with a wolfpack mentality.

In keeping with that theme, Syer is, well, the leader of the pack. He’s a solid left-handed pitcher who throws three pitches for strikes (4-1, 2 saves, 49 strikeouts this season) and a centerfielder who gives the Jackets a reliable bat in the leadoff spot.

Going into Tuesday night’s area championship series with Pell City he is hitting .408 with six home runs, 11 doubles and 30 RBis. He has hit five of his homers in Choccolocco Park, a field not prone to yielding the long ball to high schoolers.

“You’ve got all different types of wolves,” Jackets baseball coach Wes Brooks said. “You’ve got the lone wolf, the one that takes care of the young, a talker, you’ve got an Alpha wolf, a Beta. He’s an Alpha wolf. He’s the guy who just seems to be in the right place at the right time a lot of the times in a lot of big games. And he usually comes through in those clutch situations.

“As far the top two or three percent guys I’ve coached, I’d have to say Brody’s in there. If we had an all-time Oxford baseball team, Brody would be in that lineup and on that staff.”

Syer said he was humbled by the words his coaches bestowed on him during his signing ceremony.

He is equally humbled by the number of times he’s found himself in a situation with the game on the line and the expectation of being able to deliver.

“It seemed like they kind of knew I was that guy so they always looked at me and said make a play, and that’s just what I did,” he said. “I guess it’s just from them knowing the work I put in. I put them in front of me and do what I do and hopefully be successful at that. I guess it’s just a gift from God.”

Syer’s versatility has always left him with choices. He was leaning towards a college football career in the fall, but those opportunities never quite materialized. He liked the way the Wolves stayed with him even when he hadn’t had time to return their calls and “something clicked” when he finally took a visit there. He committed to them the night last month the Yellow Jackets won another Calhoun County Baseball Tournament title.

He would like to play football at West Georgia and plans to talk with those coaches about it “to see where it takes me,” but he’d consider that opportunity a bonus to his college experience. He is expected to be a pitcher for baseball coach Skip Fite with some chance to hit.

The opportunity is there.

“Now I’ve got to go play at West Georgia like I did here at Oxford,” he said.

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