Sussex County Delaware

Hershelman Signs
with St. John's U.
Sussex Central Golden Knights


Knight Senior Chooses
Baseball over Football
Sussex Central senior Blake Hershelman signs with St. John's University

Photo: Sussex Central senior Blake Hershelman signs a national letter of intent for a baseball scholarship at St. John's University in New York City. With him are his parents (seated) Lisa and Jim Hershelman and his coaches at Sussex Central (standing).

Video Clip

Some would figure that Sussex Central High School senior Blake Hershelman would have a difficult choice to make between playing college football or college or minor league baseball.

But for the Golden Knights' quarterback and catcher, there really wasn't much of a choice at all.

"I think I wanted to go baseball the whole time," said Hershelman on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2000, after signing a national letter of intent for a full baseball scholarship at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. "I thought I could go farther in baseball than football."

With his parents Lisa and Jim Hershelman and his Sussex Central coaches watching, Hershelman signed the letter in the school's library during the early signing period for college baseball.

He does, however, hold out hope that he'll be drafted high enough in the Major League Draft to give the minor leagues a shot. If that doesn't happen, he'll have his scholarship to fall back on.

"We went up to visit and I liked it," said Hershelman of his decision to go with St. John's over the University of Delaware, Miami of Ohio, and Boston College.

"I like the coach, I like the area, I like the surroundings. They're right in the middle of everything in New York. They've got a minor league team playing at the same field they do ... they've got a brand new $5 million stadium. The coach impressed me. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about and he's been around the block."

St. John's head coach Ed Blankmeyer has had 30 players taken in the Major League Draft including five from last year's Red Storm club. Blankmeyer has an overall mark of 123-73-3 in five seasons.

Hershelman also liked the idea that he is the only catcher on scholarship on the team so far.

"They have two other catchers but they're not on scholarship," said Hershelman. "They think I can come in and get some playing time the first year. They talked to me after the Carpenter Cup, they had a good offer on the table, and I liked what I saw when I went there. They talked about playing time, and I liked that, too."

St. John's, a member of the Big East Conference, went 32-22-2 overall in 1999-2000.

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