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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Roger Sheppard was many things for Fox Creek head baseball coach Wesley Brown. He was a mentor and a guiding voice in the coaching staff, he was a groundskeeper, as well as a visionary. Most importantly, though, he was a friend.
Sheppard passed away last September, and Brown wanted to do something special for a man who was so humble. Though Sheppard would likely shy away from the idea of having Fox Creek High School’s baseball complex named after him, Brown felt as though he would be smiling down. Before the Predators’ game on March 25 against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, Brown officially presented the newly named Roger Sheppard Baseball Complex.
“This is a dedication for one of the finest men I have ever met,” Brown said. “It’s kind of funny we are struggling here as a team with selfishness, and here we are talking today about a guy who was so unselfish it wasn’t even funny.”
Brown said there weren’t many days in his life he could compare to standing before his team, staff and supporters, and talking about the man he called Coach Shep.
“There are people in this world who go unrecognized on a daily basis, but I refuse to let that happen in this case,” Brown said. “I started coaching 16 years ago, and there are so many people that I have came across in this profession. Some of them leave good marks, some of them leave bad marks, and Roger Sheppard has truly been one of the best that I have come across while coaching the game that I so dearly love. There isn’t a man who made me think more about the game of baseball than Coach Shep.”
Brown said the passion Sheppard had for the game was something that isn’t seen today. He said there are entitlement issues, both in the game and society as a whole.
Sheppard’s widow, Carolyn, said baseball was her late husband’s life.
“He loved being on the baseball field, and he spent many, many hours here,” she said. “He wanted what was best for each and every one of you. He would have said that you shouldn’t have done this because he was a very humble guy. I’m glad you decided to do it, because he really did deserve this.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013.
Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.