Two JDCHS baseball players moving on to the college ranksJun 18, 2018 12:22PM ● By City Journals Staff
JDCHS centerfielder Jared Perry signed with Columbia Basin College for next season.
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Juan Diego Catholic High School baseball team had two seniors this past season on the third-best team in the state in the 4A ranks, and those two players, Dawson Stiefel and Jared Perry — who are both from West Jordan — will be playing in college this fall.
Stiefel signed with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho, while Perry will be playing for Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington.
“I chose CSI because of how consistent their program has been throughout the years,” Stiefel said. “Their coaches are amazing, and they do a really good job of sending players onto the next level.”
“I loved the facilities at Columbia Basin, and coach (Brent) Wyatt is a really cool dude,” Perry said. “I also feel like it provides me an atmosphere that would help me as a person.”
“We’re pretty excited about having Jared in our program,” Wyatt said. “I don’t just recruit players with good abilities. I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and, knowing that he’s a pretty high-character kid with a mix of athleticism, that’s my favorite kind of kid. We’re excited to have him in the mix.”
Juan Diego baseball coach Kellen Carsey said both players set a “perfect example” of leadership and how hard work pays off.
“What both these two young men have has all been driven by working hard and earning what they got,” he said. “They both will go on to play college baseball, which is exciting for both of them, but more than anything in whatever they do they will be successful because they show up on time and work hard.”
Stiefel, the son of Kevin and Tiffany Stiefel, has been playing baseball for more than 14 years and has plenty of memories in the sport, including his first All-Star team stint in the 8U division — as a 6-year-old — and two visits to Cooperstown, New York, a few years ago.
At Juan Diego, the senior infielder has been a pivotal part of the Soaring Eagle baseball squad that has finished in the top four in the state the past two years. Last season, he was an Honorable Mention All-State second and third baseman. This year, he belted three home runs along with 14 extra-base hits while recording a 3-1 record on the mound. One of those home runs was in an 8-7 win over Mountain Crest in the first round of the 4A state tournament.
“I love the emotion that is involved in baseball as well as the strategies,” Stiefel said. “I also love the adrenaline that comes with every at-bat and every pitch.”
Stiefel said the sport has taught him patience, confidence and staying in the moment. He credits his parents, coaches and teammates for the success he’s had.
“They have pushed me to become the player and the person that I am today,” he said. “My coaches never gave up on me and had confidence in me to put me in the lineup each and every game day.”
The CSI-bound player has his sights on Division I baseball and the professional ranks beyond.
Perry, the son of Greg and Shannon Perry, got his start in baseball as a T-baller at 3 years old. He worked his way up through the sport, and despite being cut from the Copper Hills baseball team as a freshman, he continued to pursue his dream of playing baseball at a high level. While playing for Mountain West Baseball Academy teams, he faced teams from Juan Diego and always admired the strength of the Soaring Eagle program.
“They were always solid and legit,” he said. “I had pretty good performances against them, and that got me thinking that I could play with them.”
Jared Perry found his way to JDCHS the next year and was used as a pinch runner at times, which allowed him to letter. That summer was a pivotal time for him as he gave up football to focus on just baseball.
“I decided the NFL wasn’t really going to happen, and I was better at baseball anyway,” he said. “I also decided I didn’t just want to pinch run on varsity, but I wanted to make an impact.”
So he went to work, and, as a junior and senior, the centerfielder was named Second Team All-Region.
“I love how the hard work you put in with baseball can translate into success,” he said. “I just really wanted to play, and I’m getting the chance to keep doing that.”
Jared Perry credited his parents, coaches and teammates for the belief they showed in him that led to the chance to play at the next level.