Having a season taken away from one's control can demoralize a person's confidence.
However, in Neven Perry's case, it only strengthened the resolve that he had to continue his baseball career.
The Burlington, Ky. native will look to make a significant impact on the Shawnee State pitching staff when Perry joins the SSU roster for the 2021 season on forward.
For Perry, the opportunity to play college baseball provides a second chance to pursue his passion at a high level.
"Being committed definitely takes a lot of pressure off during my summer ball season, especially when it comes to recruiters and impressing them," Perry said. "It allows me to be able to focus more on my fundamentals and enjoying the game that I've loved all of my life."
At Cooper, Perry was preparing for a move up to the varsity unit in 2020 after improving significantly with Cooper and the Kentucky Colonels, the latter being the travel ball program that the senior associated himself with.
The 6-0 right-handed pitcher wasn't able to get that opportunity to showcase his improvement in his final year, but still made the most of his time at Cooper, playing football for a season and getting involved in a career-ready program called NaviGo Prep, a Covington, Ky.-based non-profit organization that helps students "discover their true aptitudes, talents, and optimal career choices.
"Neven is one of the hardest working student athletes I've been around," Kentucky Colonels 16U Manager Michael Slone said to FieldLevel. "He's going to do well with the coaches at Shawnee State. He's committed to his academics and the game of baseball. I'm excited to see him continue his career."
"It was always a lot of fun and rewarding to be in both programs," Perry said. "Playing with my friends and getting to compete with them throughout the season was a great opportunity. Due to COVID-19, I never got to truly experience a varsity season at Cooper, and because of that, I was even more motivated to continue my athletic career in college. The coaches on all levels were all very encouraging of what I did and wanted to do."
As a pitcher, Perry has always enjoyed the element of control that the spot brings.
"It always felt great," Perry said. "I was grateful for every opportunity that I was given to pitch. Whenever I was on the mound, I felt in control of the game."
While at Shawnee State, the future plastics engineering technology major will look to take that same control as his future draws closer to the present.
"Academically, I hope to obtain my degree and find a job in my desired profession after college," Perry said. "Athletically, I hope to enjoy the last four years of my baseball career for the rest of my life. I want to do great things at Shawnee State, and hope to leave my mark there."
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