It didn't take long for Boonville's Jalen Poindexter and Zach Nixon to decide where they wanted to spend next year playing baseball.
After leading the Pirates baseball team to a fourth place finish in the state tournament, Poindexter and Nixon both inked letters of intent Friday in the media center at Boonville High School.
Poindexter will be attending John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, while Nixon will spend the 2013-14 school year at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
Poindexter said he chose John Wood CC because Coach Greg Wathen says on the players about academics and athletics.
"I could tell he really cared about us and plus I wanted to get away from home a little bit," Poindexter said.
Nixon said he selected Westminster because it is not only a great program with their baseball but also one of the top academic schools in the state. "Also, I really like the program and the proximity to home was kind of a factor in the signing where I go to."
Poindexter, a three-year starter, played three different positions during his tenure at Boonville. While switching between shortstop and third his first-two seasons, Poindexter played strictly catcher this past season and led the Pirates in five different categories with a .391 clip with 34 hits in 87 at-bats with 12 doubles, three home runs and 32 RBIs.
As for Nixon, who played all three years at second base, he finished second only to Poindexter in hitting with a .365 average with 27 hits in 74 at-bats with a team-leading 20 singles and 21 RBIs.
Both players agreed that playing in the Final Four this past season was the highlight of their careers.
"It was a great experience," Poindexter said. "Not too many people from here can say they have made it that far."
"Definitely going to the Final Four this year and being able to play with my best friends for the past 3-4 years," Nixon said.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Tim Edwards said John Wood CC and Westminster were both great fits for Poindexter and Nixon.
"John Wood is an opportunity for Jalen to go to school for two years, get his feet wet and look to go to a bigger place," Edwards said. "I think Jalen can be a really, really solid Division II or Division I catcher. He also has the ability to play at the corners. He can also play some at third or first. Jalen's bat is what makes him really exceptional, though. He has great hands, quick hands and can create a lot of power. Defensively, he is solid any place you put him but he is a plus hitter at a high school level for sure and I think he will be at the college level as well."
Page 2 of 2 - As for Nixon, Edwards said Westminster College is a great academic school and Zach is an outstanding student.
"Zach is an incredibly smart kid but he is also a hard worker and a really great baseball player," Edwards said, "and Westminster is a great fit for him because of all that. Zach has been solid the last-three years. He is not a guy that is going to jump out at you when you come watch him play. He is not going to be the guy who is going to be the leader in all of our stat categories but he is going to be near the top in all of them and that is because he works hard.
"He is not great in any phase of the game but he is good in all phases of the game. He really worked to make himself a very good, solid second baseman. The one thing that concerned me with Zach when he was younger was his range and he worked hard on that. I think he is going to have to improve that still when he goes to the college level but he has good range, great hands when turning a double play and solid at fielding ground balls. He also throws well and then at the plate that's a plus because he is a very good hitter."
Edwards commented further that you can't say enough about how much Poindexter and Nixon have meant to the program. He said both players lead by example and do the right things inside and outside of school.
As for what they need to improve on to play at the next level, Poindexter said his throws down to second need to be better. "My arm strength needs to get better,' Poindexter said. "I also need to be a little more patient at the plate."
As for Nixon, he said he needs to work on his range and improve his power to all fields.
"I think I have been pretty much a contact hitter but I think I need to step it up and become more of a power hitter if I am going to play the corners or second," Nixon said. "I wish I could have been a pitcher in high school because pitching is fun."