Q & A with Bryan Lion’s NAIA All-American and Rhea County Alumn, Tyler Latham.
What does it mean to you to be a Rhea County alumni player that is able to stay close to home and play at the college level and be declared a NAIA All American?
I have loved being able to stay in my hometown and play college ball. It’s been a blessing having my family and friends there to watch me and support me through it all. My brother was the reason I went to school at Bryan back in 2011. I signed there and played my first two years with him there. After being an all American and finding out if had achieved that goal, I was shocked afterwards because of my season ending injury to my forearm. Although, I was pretty excited to have become the first, First Team All-American to represent Bryan College.
This is now your senior year at Bryan College and I understand you have had some high and low times. Can you share about some of the success you have had and some of the difficult times?
I have had a lot of success at Bryan throughout my career. I have broken the home run record a couple weeks ago along with the doubles and RBI record. Last week I broke the career hit record as well. Too bad it’s such a hard game because I have accomplished some great things, but being consistent has been the hardest thing to do. I am proud to be the player I am, and I have held myself to some higher standards than most so I’m not completely satisfied just yet, but being a part of the teams that I have played with, and the friends that I have made, that is worth way more than any record I may break or have broken. I wouldn’t trade my experience, friends, or coaches for any of those titles that I could go by. It has been an honor to play here and be a part of all of this, right here at home.
What are you plans after the season and is there any pro teams looking at you?
My plans after this year are to hopefully go on and play ball. I have always dreamed of going to the next level and getting the call saying I get the chance to play professional baseball. The window is small to get in. You have to be the best of the best. My chance is there and I have worked hard to get there, but honestly it’s luck of the draw. My preparation has been there no doubt, but I have to turn a head. I don’t know if there are scouts watching me at the time but with the past that I have, they know who I am and what I am capable of, so only time will tell.
What are your current career Stats?
194 games, 653 AB’s, 130 runs, 227 hits, 54 doubles, 4 triples, 30 home runs, 161 rbi’s, 379 total bases, 72 base on balls, 81 strikeouts, .580 slugging percentage, .348 average.
What significance does the number 26 play?
Wearing 26 has been a reminder to me that the game is just a game. A buddy of my brother’s, “Tyler Reed”, grew up playing ball in Spring City. He was as close to someone as you can get without being there blood brother to Tyson and I. I watched him and my brother play ball as a kid all the way through high school and into college together. When I came to Bryan, Tyler passed away from a car accident. It was one of the worst things I have ever had to go through. Tyler was like another brother to me and my brother, Tyson. When I came here to play ball I couldn’t be number 21 because my brother was wearing the number so I took 26, which was Tyler’s number. I think by having 26 as my number now, maybe it keeps me a little more humble and it keeps his dreams going on with me. I think about him a lot and so does my brother. We miss him every day, but everytime I spike the dirt I know I’m doing this all for him and he is right there with me the whole time.