Josh Terry inks deal, links family bond to SAGU
Infielder follows brother Jared Terry to Lions
Soft-talker from Lone Star, Tx carries big stick
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A small city with a mighty name. Lone Star, Texas. It makes you want to stand, salute and click your boot heals.
Its East Texas high school, Daingerfield, is much the same. Both have produced diamonds in the rough.
When Josh Terry signed a binding National Letter of Intent to play baseball while attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University, it reconnected a family with a strong link to SAGU.
Terry, a bona fide hitter for the Daingerfield Tigers, follows in the footsteps of his older brothers, Matthew and Jared, the latter of which also suited up for the Lions.
Their parents, Ben and Beth, were also enrolled at SAGU in the early 1980’s before marrying. They returned over a decade later to finish their studies, and have pastored The Worship Center in Lone Star for 27 years.
Lone Star is surrounded by some great, bass fishing lakes (including Lake Fork), and is centered between Tyler, Shreveport and Texarkana. The Lions baseball team may have landed a trophy fish if Terry continues swinging the lumber like he has done in four years of prep ball.
At 5-foot-7, he has produced a composite, four-year .427 batting average.
He started at .413 as a frosh, followed by a .439 sophomore campaign. In his junior year he toted a .434 club before going .423 this spring. Very steady and sturdy.
A certain movie character might respond to those figures with the iconic observation: “Impressive, most impressive, but you’re not a Jedi yet.”
What has been an even more 'impressive' statistic has been Terry’s ability to put the ball in play. The hard contact-hitter struck out only three times in 78 at bats this year and just twice in 70 as a junior.
The 'force,' evidently, is with the hand-eye skill of this ‘young one.’ No wonder he spent his prep years hitting in the 2, 3 and clean-up holes.
His district in Class 2A took note, choosing him as Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, and then he earned All-District First Team his last three seasons for the Tigers.
Terry surely credits part of his batting success to brother Jared, who hit .293 and was named Defensive Player of the Year in his lone season at SAGU in 2010.
A gutsy third baseman; he made only five errors in 30 games, Terry was forced out of baseball due to medical reasons.
He has also worked out regularly the past three years in the fall with friend Jermaine Mitchell, who plays for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mitchell, a 2003 graduate of Daingerfield H.S., was selected in the sixth round of the 2006 draft by the Oakland A’s.
Josh explains: "He has given me hitting tips (after our workouts); just some little things I can do to help improve my swing."
When not playing second base, the native of Longview, Texas has also pitched. During the two past two years he has a combined 10-4 won-lost record with a 2.18 earned run average.
Terry throws right-handed but bats from the opposite side.
His work ethic, however, probably trumps the advice he gets. Known for putting in extra time before and after practice, he does credit his dad for instilling the drive.
“If I’ve heard dad say it once, I’ve heard him say it a thousand times; ‘Somebody somewhere is working out just a little bit harder than you are today,’” Josh says.
No wonder he toils hard at his craft. He sees no excuse for a lack of effort.
An unspoken strength has been his knack for maintaining his focus while playing for three different head coaches at Daingerfield. He has learned from each and praises his final coach, Cody Burgin, who found plenty of reasons to recommend Terry to SAGU.
Josh was recognized for his involvement in campus life. A quiet leader, he was picked as the Ideal Student his freshman and sophomore years. He was also a three-year member of the National Honor Society.
He was on the Leadership Team and on the Student Council for two years, while also receiving the Citizenship Award as a senior.
Daingerfield HS has a rich past in football. In fact, in the 50th Anniversary Edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football (magazine) nominated the 1983 team as the #2 most memorable team (pro, college, or high school) in Texas football history; only the 1969 Texas Longhorns national championship team was rated higher, according to Wikipedia.
That ‘83 team dominated, going 16-0 while scoring 631 points while yielding only eight the entire season. They shutout 14 teams, including their final 13 opponents.
Perhaps with recent products like Mitchell and Terry, the school can now establish a legacy from its baseball program.