This entry is a bit different. Any of you who know our club from last year or the year before should know who Shaun Harrison, or as we call him "The Snow Leopard", or just "Snowy". Snowy is a centerfielder who came to us out of Grayson High School in Gwinnett County. One of the best athletes to ever step on the field at The Lake, Snowy came in a little raw as a true freshman, but anyone paying attention could see that there was no limit to his potential. Besides just being a freakish athlete, we was also one of the hardest working players I've ever known, and I'm speaking as a player, as a coach, and as a fan. We couldn't get the guy off the field, out of the cage, or out of the gym. At the close of his first fall we made the decision to red-shirt the "Lep" because wasting a year of eligibility on a guy so talented didn't make any sense, and we could see that 2 years down the road he'd have a chance to emerge as something truly special.
This was supposed to be his year, but as it happens now and then, the powers that be threw a wrench into our plans. While playing summer baseball in Atlanta (and tearing it up by all accounts), Snowy suffered a torn achilles tendon while running the bases, and he will not be able to compete this season. We always try to figure out why things like this happen to such good people, and I promise you that you won't find an answer in this blog. I can only say that Shaun's absense at The Lake has already been felt. All of the praise of his athletecism and work ethic pale in comparison to the praise he deserves as a human being. EVERYONE loves Shaun... I mean it, EVERYONE... Teammates, teachers, staff members, his coaches. A day hasn't gone by when his name hasn't been mentioned and a story hasn't been told with the Lep involved.
I suppose the point I'm making is that, although he won't be patrolling center field in the pinstripes this season, this is still his year at Chatt Valley, and The Snow Leopard is still a Pirate. We all miss you, Snowy, and we pray that thing heals up quick so we can have you down to visit. I'll make sure there's an extra jersey around for you this spring.