Dream Comes True For Jacob Shempert

Houston (MS) High School class of 2012 member Jacob Shempert is seeing his dream come true with today's signing of a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Mississippi State University.

[Pictured in front page photo clockwise from left to right: Top row - John Ellison (former head coach at Houston HS), Cody Cox (Houston HS catching coach), Scott Gann (Houston HS head baseball coach), Duke McCrory (personal baseball instructor), Scott Shempert (Jacob's dad). Bottom row - Peggy Shempert (Jacob's mother) and Jacob Shempert]

"I committed (April 26, 2010 of) my sophomore year," said the MSU signee. "It's been a long three years but they have flown by. It's been fun and a great experience. And it feels great to have everybody here who have supported and helped me with my baseball (career) while I was growing up."

One of those who has helped him the most is his dad, Scott Shempert. Scott couldn't be happier because he's seeing his son live a dream that they both had for him, playing baseball in the Southeastern Conference.

"I guess this is every father's dream," said the proud father. "For him to actually have the opportunity to play (baseball) in the SEC, I can't even explain to you how much this means to me.

"When you see your son for the first time, you have different dreams for him. For me, baseball was my favorite sport. It wasn't the one I was the best at but it was my favorite. So, when he came along, this is all I had thought about for the last 17 years."

It wasn't just what they thought about it, either. A lot of hard work and effort went into making this day possible.

"The first person who ever worked with me in baseball was my mentally-challenged great aunt, Mable Kelso," said Jacob. "When I was real young, like 2 or 3 (years old), she would throw me baseballs. My grandparents had one ball and two bats. And she would throw the ball to me 100s of times a day and run and go get it no matter where I hit it. Then my dad, when I was growing up, threw countless baseballs to me. And Coach Duke (McCrory), besides my dad, has thrown more baseballs to me than anyone else."

And it's not just the throwing but the time and effort that were involved in helping Jacob become the baseball player he is today.

"His mother (Peggy Shempert) would take him to places during the summer such as Marietta, Georgia for a week, then come home, wash clothes, then head back to places like Fort Myers, Florida, so he could play on elite summer ball teams," said Scott. "There was a lot of traveling, but it was good for both of them because they were able to spend a lot of time together."

When he wasn't playing baseball during the summer circuit, he was with Coach McCrory, who owns a baseball instructional facility in Batesville, MS, where he works with hitters and infielders, honing his baseball skills.

"I actually started working with Jacob, aka, Shemme, when he was 11-years-old," said McCrory. "His dad approach me about working with him. When I first saw him hit, I knew he was something special. Plus, I saw the love of the game that he has."

What is just as impressive about Jacob is the type person he is off the field of play. McCrory has seen that first-hand.

"He is so humble," said McCrory. "With all the accomplishments and all the things that have come his way, you would think he would be a little cocky, but he's not. He's always willing to help young kids. He's really something special and he's been a pleasure to work with."

McCrory sees a bright future on the diamond for Jacob.

"The sky's the limit for him," said McCrory. "I know he is going to do good things for Coach Cohen and the Bulldogs. And his career is not going to end there."

As for Jacob, when he gets to Mississippi State he has one major goal.

"I want to help my team go to the College World Series and win the national championship," said the youngster.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

Gene's Page Top Stories