Ponder selected for NAAPS Hall of Fame
Before his team secured their third-straight trip to the AISA State Championship, Patriot head coach Allen Ponder received the news he was going to be inducted in the National Athletic Association of Private Schools Hall of Fame.
Ponder will be the seventh member inducted in the Class of 2019. Ponder has been associated with private school athletics in the Alabama Independent School Association since his playing days at Lee-Scott Academy
“This organization, AISA has done a lot for me not only when I was in high school, but as a coach,” Ponder said. “It’s a great honor. I was able to play with some great teammates when I was in high school and I have had groups of great players as a coach. It’s a great honor and I certainly appreciate it. It’s a lot of fun and it’s because of teams like I have this year.”
In 2002, ponder became the first player from AISA to be named Mr. Baseball in the state of Alabama. He later signed with the University of Alabama where he played for three seasons. His accomplishments at Alabama include SEC Pitcher of the Week honors as a freshman after pitching five shutout innings against second-ranked Rice and he was also a member of the 2005 SEC Championship team.
Ponder then went to Auburn-Montgomery where he became an All-Conference, All-Region and Gold Glove infielder. He was inducted into the AUM Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ponder was drafted by the Pittsburgh pirates in the 2008 MLB Draft. He pitched one season with the State College Spikes of the New-York Pennsylvania League.
Since his playing days, Ponder has coached at Lee-Scott Academy, The Lakeside School and Pike Liberal Arts. In his time as a player and coach in AISA, Ponder has won a total of three state championships, two as a coach and one as a player.
“AISA is a very close-knit group,” Ponder said. “We have a group of coaches that have been in the AISA for a long time. It comes kind of like a brotherhood and it’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Ponder and the Patriots will play in the 2019 AISA State Championship on Wednesday morning.
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