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HEBRON ESTATES - A lot of high school athletes have to make tough decisions when it comes to college.
For high school athletes, there is often the hard choice between what sport to play at the next level.
North Bullitt senior Tyler Shewmaker had that decision to make this spring, but he opted not to make a choice at all. Instead, Shewmaker will play both soccer and baseball for St. Catharine College in Springfield, Ky., starting in the fall.
“I have been planning on doing both so if one doesn’t work out, I’ll have something to fall back on,” Shewmaker said recently as he got ready for a North Bullitt baseball game. “I like having something to do in the off-season. That’s a good way to stay in shape.”
When pushed to name a top choice, Shewmaker did say that the first area of focus will be baseball, the sport that he has been a part of more growing up. This spring is his fifth season with the Eagle baseball program while he only played soccer for the past two seasons.
Growing up, Shewmaker played baseball in the Blue Lick Optimist League since he could sign-up for T-ball. As an 11-year-old, he was a member of the Blue Lick All-Star squad that won the West Kentucky State Championship and advanced to regional play.
Shewmaker did play some youth soccer in the local parks and recreation league up to about age 10. He played one year of club soccer at the age of 9. He then stepped away from that sport before returning to it for his last two years at North Bullitt.
The 18-year old son of Patty and Greg Shewmaker was part of a rare double for North Bullitt this school year as he played on teams that defeated Bullitt East in both of his sports.
The first contact with the school came during an open house at the college earlier this year. At that time, he talked with the soccer coach when then relayed word to the baseball program about possibly Shewmaker playing both sports.
At St. Catharine, Shewmaker will be reunited with former North Bullitt pitching standout Matt Wagner.
The Eagle senior has told St. Catharine baseball coach Luther Bramblett that his first interest is in playing the outfield at the next level. At North Bullitt, he has been a jack-of-all-trades, having played the outfield and also pitching. For the past ten days, he has also been behind the plate as the team’s catcher because of an injury. He also did a lot of catching last season.
On the mound, Shewmaker has a 4-1 record in 18 innings of work this spring. At the plate, he is batting fifth with a .333 average and he leads the team with four triples.
“I really think he is somebody who could be a utility guy for them like he is for us,” North Bullitt baseball coach Brian Wise said. “He could catch be a relief guy on the mound. His strength is the outfield and he runs well.”
St. Catharine’s soccer coach is Tim Wolz and it appears that Shewmaker will be a midfielder for the Patriots, a team that posted a 10-12-1 record this past season.
Shewmaker pointed to his grandmothers, Helen Shewmaker and Darlene Wilson, as his biggest fans.
“The coaches just told me that it will come down to communication,” Shewmaker concluded of how he can succeed playing two sports at the next level. “They say that communication is the most important thing.”
Shewmaker will graduate with a GPA well over 3.0 and he would like to major in sports administration.