Long, a utility player who has played a variety of positions at JHS to include third base, shortstop, second base, pitcher and catcher, looks to play behind the plate at Northwest Florida State.
Golden Eagle Head Coach David Deerman says playing catcher is Shed’s first choice. “In the ninth grade he had a lot of playing time for us at third base and then the next year our catcher graduated and I called Shed in to talk to him and he said, ‘I want to be a catcher.’
“We moved him back there and he has come a long way in the last couple of years. He has had a really good off-season especially in the weight room and has made a lot of commitment to making himself stronger and getting himself to be a better player.”
Long has been named All-County the last two years and last year was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player of the county tournament.
Long says that going to Northwest Florida on a visit is what decided it for him. “When I went on the visit I liked the coaches a lot, the field was nice and the school was nice.
“They send a lot of people on to the next level and that’s my goal; to get as high as I can be,” said Long.
Over the Christmas break Long was invited to participate in the Power Showcase held in Florida. The showcase gives up and coming baseball players a chance to show what they have to college and professional coaches and scouts.
Part of the showcase is a homerun derby. Out of approximately 140 players from across the nation Long came in sixth.
Long also participated in Homeruns that Help, a community outreach program that partners each participant with someone in their community who has a long-term medical condition. The Showcase raises money for the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Each community participant is photographed with the player and his first homerun ball, which the player has signed.
Long chose to partner with Cody Meyer, a 17-year old student at JHS who suffers from Morquio Syndrome. Meyer is unable to communicate through speech but communicates well through gestures and writing. Meyer wears braces on his ankles and uses a walker for mobility.
Meyer is an avid sports fan. Long’s first homerun ball, hit 415 feet, was signed by Long and presented to Meyer when Long signed with Northwest Florida State College last week.