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The James Wood baseball team is looking to defend its Class 4 Northwestern District tournament championship this spring, and the Colonels will do so with three key players who have already sewn up their plans for playing in college.

Infielder/outfielder Bodie Pullen (NCAA Division II Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.) and outfielders Brody Bower (NCAA Division III Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa.) and Jacob Roy (Richard Bland College of William & Mary, a National Junior College Athletic Association school in Petersburg) each signed their National Letters of Intent in a ceremony at James Wood on Friday.

“It’s been a childhood dream to play college baseball,” said Pullen in a phone interview on Sunday. “And being able to sign with two of my teammates since I was 8 years old, it was everything to me.”

Pullen starred as a second baseman last year, tying for the area lead with 19 runs and leading the area with 16 stolen bases. Pullen batted .300 (18 for 60) and had 13 RBIs, three doubles and three triples for the Colonels (13-4).

Pullen said he’s willing to play anywhere he’s needed in the infield or outfield for Shepherd, which competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The Rams are coached by 2005 Sherando graduate Matt McCarty, now in his 10th year as Shepherd’s baseball coach. The Rams are 4-4 currently and went 22-14-1 overall and 18-12-1 last year in their first full season competing in the PSAC last year. Shepherd has had winning seasons every year under McCarty and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament each year from 2016-18.

McCarty saw Pullen play for the Blue Ridge Generals travel team and contacted him last summer. Pullen first visited the campus in the fall, and a follow-up trip to a Shepherd football playoff game in November made him it could be a future home.

“I loved the atmosphere,” Pullen said. “That pretty much sealed the deal.”

Pullen — who will receive a partial academic scholarship — said there are a lot of things to like about Shepherd.

“Shepherd plays at a really high level, and I really want to be a part of that,” said Pullen, who also likes the campus and the restaurants in the area. “It seems like Coach McCarty is a very likeable guy. When we were driving around campus, we saw a few players, and it just seems like everybody loves him.”

Bower had a team-high .391 batting average (18 for 46) and also had a .517 on-base percentage, 17 runs, 10 walks and seven RBIs last year. He will join an Eastern team that went 10-17 overall and 7-9 in the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth last year.

Bower plans on majoring in exercise science/kinesiology.

Roy recorded a .285 batting average, .458 OBP, 11 runs, 11 walks and seven stolen bases last year. He will join Richard Bland, which is 5-3 in its inaugural baseball season this year.

Roy doesn’t have a major yet but is considering criminal justice, sports management or agricultural business.