WAYNESBORO, MS (WDAM) - "He had skills that not everybody possesses," said former Wayne County head baseball coach Michael Gavin. "And the biggest thing was his work ethic. I never had a kid that would work as hard as he do."
Gavin saw the potential in Dylan Snypes back when he donned a War Eagle uniform.
The childhood dream of Wayne County alum Snypes came to fruition when he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 15th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
"I always knew I had a shot but it doesn't really sit in until it actually happens," Snypes said. "But it's always been a dream."
It wasn't until Snypes' all-state senior season at Wayne County in 2014 that colleges began to recognize the talented shortstop.
"One thing I told his junior college coach was I felt like his best baseball was still ahead of him," Gavin said. "Even when I talk to that coach today he echoes the same thing. His best baseball still may be ahead of him."
Snypes blossomed under coach Neal Holliman in his two seasons at East Central Community College. Snypes' five home runs, 13 doubles, three triples and 38 runs-batted-in during his sophomore season earned him a scholarship to Oral Roberts. Snypes spent the past season leading the Golden Eagles with 81 hits and a .335 batting average.
As Snypes begins his professional career with the Brooklyn Cyclones, short-season A affiliate of the Mets, he doesn't forget those who coached him along the way.
"Michael Gavin and Neal Holliman, he was a special guy to me," Snypes said. "I really enjoyed my two years [at East Central]. At Oral Roberts I had coach [Ryan] Fullmer and coach [Ryan] Neill up there. [They] really benefited me a lot. I thank those guys."
"I'm going to definitely be a Mets fan now to keep up with him," Gavin said. "He's going to be a kid that if he can make it there and people get to watch him play, he's going to be a fun guy to watch because he plays the game the right way."
Snypes is just the second Wayne County graduate to be drafted into the MLB, joining Demarcus Henderson who was selected by the Houston Astros in 2010. Henderson turned down the offer to play for Mississippi State.
Growing up in State Line, Snypes proves that what matters is not how small one's hometown is but how big one's dreams are.
"[Wayne County's] kind of a out-of-the-way school out there and not necessarily known for their baseball," Gavin said. "But that just goes to show you if a kid has talent and he works hard, anything's possible."