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From Pirate to Raider – Mac Danford is moving on up

Back Row:  Carolyn Johnson Wayne Johnson, Danny Danford, Ryne Danford, Trevor Johnson, Kaity Johnson, Leigh Berry, Front row: Dee Dee Danford, Mac Danford, Randy Danford Back Row: Carolyn Johnson Wayne Johnson, Danny Danford, Ryne Danford, Trevor Johnson, Kaity Johnson, Leigh Berry, Front row: Dee Dee Danford, Mac Danford, Randy Danford Liz Jackson

Mac Danford took to baseball as a three-year old like a duck takes to water. For the last 15 years, he simply could not play ‘too much’ baseball. If there was a game, he was there. It mattered not if it was in Sneads, Grand Ridge, Fort Myers or New York. His parents, Randy and DeeDee Danford went the extra mile to make sure he had every opportunity to reach his potential.  Last Friday, before family, friends, teammates, students and faculty, Danford made his next step of his dream official.  He signed on the dotted line to continue his baseball playing days at Northwest Florida State College. 

Danford says he has played every position on the field in the last 15 years but is most suited for catching and mid infield. Last year at Sneads High, he held down shortstop but is looking to move behind the plate this year with last year’s starting catcher, Michael Weeks being lost to graduation.  He played rec ball in Grand Ridge, three years of middle school ball at Grand Ridge Middle and became a Sneads Pirate in the ninth grade. He has remained a Pirate and will graduate in May, 2019. 

Before deciding on NWFS, Danford looked at University of New Orleans, Jacksonville University, Chipola College and a few others but the choice was easy after his visit to NWFS, “Northwest, it’s going to sound weird but Coach Johns called me to go hit for him.  There was a bunch of top prospects over there and every guy over there made me feel like I was still home. I pulled up in the parking a lot, I was waiting on Coach.  I got there about an hour before he did and he pulled up and he said, “I like you.”  And I said, okay, well I’m here to play ball. When it’s baseball time, I’ll be here at the crack of dawn waiting on you. I just feel like I am at home. It’s a little bit different but not really.” 

Danford is very quick to give his parents credit for going the extra mile for him, “My parents have done everything, and I have a big village of people to thank.  I first off want to thank my mom and dad. They’ve shoveled so much money into this.  They’ve took me from Fort Myers to Mississippi, to Tennessee to New York when I was 12 years old. They let me go everywhere. If there is a little white ball with 108 laces on it, I was sent to follow it.  I want to say thank you to my grandparents, my coaches and just so many people who have helped me. The main people I want to thank is my mom, my dad, coach Justin, Mr. Adam (Mercer), Mrs. Jess (Mercer), they are like my second mom and dad and ever since I started travel ball they’ve just been there. Every time I see them, they are like family.  Me, Colton and Cade are like brothers and I’d love to thank them too because they are truly like brothers.”

He is the son of Randy and DeeDee Danford, the grandson of Wayne and Carolyn Johnson and Danny Danford.  He has a brother, Ryne Danford, sister Leigh Berry.  He lists his coach, Justin Chambers as family and instrumental in developing where he is in baseball.

Congratulations to Mac Danford on his accomplishments thus far and the best of luck next year as a Raider.

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