Pigeon Forge Tigers’ standout baseball player Dylan Loy put pen to paper on Thursday, Nov. 10, to officially commit to play for the University of Tennessee.
Loy said it has always been a dream to suit up for the Vols.
“I’m super excited. I’ve been waiting for this for the past two years, been waiting to put pen to paper,” he said. “I’ve wanted to go to UT the whole time. I’ve stayed here my whole life and I’ve only looked at Tennessee for the past two years, just really showing how they’ve carried themselves over the past few years, it’s hard to stray from that.”
Not only is it a chance to play for a top baseball program in the nation, Tennessee allows Dylan to follow in the footsteps of many of his family members.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Tennessee. My parents both graduated from Tennessee and my brother is there right now. He’s been there since freshman year,” he said.
Dylan has been a standout baseball player since a young age and garnered attention from D-1 programs while playing in middle school.
“It was eighth grade when they started reaching out with interest. I went to some camps and I really liked the facilities. The coaching staff is unbelievable.”
Though he has known Tennessee was his choice for a while now, and has been verbally committed for the past three years, Loy said it was an emotional day when actually putting pen to paper.
“There wasn’t, but then all of the sudden you get here and it’s a rush of emotions that you’ve been waiting for the whole time,” he said.
Loy has excelled in his time at Pigeon Forge, being nominated for Mr. Baseball in Tennessee in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Dylan won the award in 2021 in his sophomore season, and last year he finished second behind Pigeon Forge teammate Riley Franklin, a friend of Loy’s who now plays at East Tennessee State University.
Loy finished the 2022 campaign with a 12-1 record in 59.2 innings pitched. Loy threw 126 strikeouts while only allowing 25 hits, and finished the year with a .587 ERA. From the plate, Loy finished with 57 hits, 34 RBIs, and a home run on the year with a .422 batting average.
While it was a big day for Loy and his family, Dylan still has his attention set for his senior year of baseball with the Tigers.
“I’m super excited. I’m thrilled to come out and play for Pigeon Forge for one more year,” Loy said.
He spoke to the biggest adjustments he expects to face moving to the collegiate level.
“High school ball I feel like you have a little bit more freedom, then once you get to college it gets to be more serious, like a job that if you don’t fufill then you’re gone,” he said. “So you have to step up and really do your part.”
The move to Tennessee is one that Loy thinks is the best chance at continuing what will hopefully be a prosperous career in baseball.
“Eventually end up in the MLB, that’s the dream,” he said.
Loy will have one more year with the Tigers before graduating and heading to play for the Vols. The Tigers are hopeful for a big year from Loy as they look to make a third straight appearance in the state tournament.