Pine-Richland’s Armstrong to play baseball at High Point
By: Kevin Lohman
Friday, August 3, 2018 | 10:42 PM
Pine-Richland rising senior J.D. Armstrong has cemented his college plans by announcing his commitment to play baseball at High Point.
The Rams shortstop is the fourth member of the team’s 2019 graduating class who has committed to playing Division I baseball, joining teammates Troy LaNeve (Vanderbilt), Matt Wood (Penn State) and Josh Johnson (Kent State).
Armstrong said he considered other schools, including Dartmouth, but in the end, he knew High Point, N.C., is where he wanted to be.
“I went on a visit about a week before I committed there. When I got there, I just loved it, to be honest,” Armstrong said.
“The campus was so nice, the facilities were great and the baseball team is really good, too. That’s all important, and it’s a place where I can get a great education, too. I really got along with all the coaches, and it’s an awesome stadium. I can’t wait to get a chance to play there.”
During his summer baseball season, Armstrong said he played games in North Carolina and Tennessee, which gave him the opportunity to be seen by the Panthers coaching staff. In that time, High Point assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jason Laws told Armstrong he wanted athletic, versatile players. By all means, the Rams slugger fit the bill.
“I play shortstop for Pine-Richland, and that’s where I play for the vast majority of my summer season, too. High Point saw me playing shortstop, but they know I play a little third base, as well. They talked to me about playing third base or maybe even outfield somewhere down the line, too,” Armstrong said.
“I’m totally open to it. Whatever they need, I’m happy to play.”
Standing at 6-foot-1, Armstrong’s versatility, frame and athleticism were obvious selling points for college recruiters. However, for Pine-Richland coach Kurt Wolfe, the most important aspect of his middle infielder’s profile is his work ethic.
“I’m so happy for J.D., he’s made such huge strides over the last couple of years. It’s obvious that he’s a very talented young man, but you can only go so far on talent,” Wolfe said.
“The hard work he’s put in has shown up at the varsity level, with him being our starting shortstop and hitting in the four or five spot for us. It says a lot about what he does off the field.
“He has put in the preparation to get where he wants to go, and I’m so happy for him to keep putting himself in the position to accomplish his future goals.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.