|Baseball player personifies the student-athlete
RELEASED: April 22, 2004
DANVILLE, KYOpen the sports page and you're sure to find negative stories about academic fraud, unsportsmanlike conduct and legal troubles in the world of collegiate athletics.
Centre junior Brad Shepherd won't be mentioned in those stories.
Shepherd, from Grey Hawk, Ky., plays second base for the Colonels' baseball team. His teammates and coaches say the double major in economics and history never misses practice and always shows up with a great attitude.
"He's just a team person," says Ed Rall, head baseball coach and sports information director at Centre. "He never complains, is always encouraging his teammates and is one of the most dependable people I've met since I've been at Centre."
Shepherd grew up playing baseball and came to Centre because the college gave him the opportunity to play sports and get involved in many other activities. About 40 percent of Centre students participate in varsity sports, and another 30 percent in intramurals or club sports.
Shepherd also enjoys playing because it gives him chance to get away from the rigors of academics.
"[Baseball] helps me relieve stress, get outside and enjoy the camaraderie of my teammates," says Shepherd, a member of the dean's list and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference's all-academic team. "My teammates make it worth coming out to the ballpark everyday."
Shepherd doesn't see much playing time but says it doesn't deter him from the sport. Instead, he uses his position as an elder spokesperson on the team to help the other players.
"It's hard [to not play] sometimes especially when your team's not doing well, but we have a good time on the bench," he says. "I feel like I contribute to the team by leading the younger guys and helping them get acclimated to college baseball and college life in general."
Mick Wigal, a senior double major in economics and anthropology/sociology from Columbiana, Ohio, says that Shepherd's attitude serves as an inspiration to the rest of the team.
"He always comes to practice early and works hard to get better," Wigal says.
Shepherd's friends and teammates say they can depend on himeven during tough times.
"Brad is the type of teammate that I can count on to never shortchange himself or the rest of the team," says senior Tim McLaughlin, a history major from Louisville, Ky. "He contributes to the baseball team through his exemplary work ethic and his ability to keep a sense of humor even when we aren't succeeding as a team. He has definitely been a big part of why I've enjoyed my time at Centre."
- end -
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714