All stars

University of WestFlorida’s Head Baseball Coach Mike Jeffcoat was the guest speaker at the 2014 Subway High School All-Star Softball and Baseball Banquet Wednesday night.

Jeffcoat, played his collegiate years at the University of West Florida followed by signing with the St. Louis Cardinals after graduation. He pitched for the rookie league affiliates in the Appalachian League and the Arizona League in 1991.

His brings a strong passion for the game to the University of West Florida. In 2011, the Argos won their first baseball national championship.  Under Jeffcoat’s guidance the Argos have participated in five NCAA South Regional appearances within the past seven years.

The 2014 Subway High School All-Star Softball and Baseball banquet honors senior students who are a stand out in softball and baseball. Dinner was provided for all honorees and their families and each athlete was presented their game jersey that they will be wearing in the actual all-star game where the East versus the West. Jeffcoat was the guest speaker for the event.

 Jeffcoat shared his strong beliefs about the benefit being involved in athletics offers, “You all have learned to persevere, that’s what athletics does for you,” Jeffcoat stated. “The discipline that is required to practice, be out late at games and be ready for a test the next morning at school shows what type of person you are.”

“Dream big,” he told the packed room of seniors and their families. “Don’t box yourself in, reach farther to fulfill your dreams. Whether it is to continue to play sports at a collegiate level or not, life is about how bad you want something.”

“Sports are like riding a train; it does come to a halt. Sometimes a screeching stop,” Jeffcoat continued. “That is why is so vital to continue your education to have all the opportunities available to you that you can.”

Area softball and baseball all-stars will be recognized in this Wednesday’s Press Gazette.