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TV20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete: Jayson Yaccarino (West Port)

Wolf Pack pitcher to play at Hillsborough Community College
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The game of inches has been apart of Jayson Yaccarino’s upbringing since he can remember.

“Growing up with it, through my family, baseball’s our life,” said the West Port High School pitcher.

To say Yaccarino eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball is an understatement. He said as a child, he used to pretend his mom’s hairbrush was a bat, and he’d work on his swing by watching himself in the mirror.

The Wolf Pack Captain also admits his family’s accomplishments has driven him to excel at the sport.

“My cousin, Dan Yaccarino, he pitched in the Little League World Series, and he pitched a no hitter. So it’s always been a thing for us and growing up everyone played baseball, but I’m one of the first ones to actually go to college to play baseball.”

Yaccarino plays both center field and pitches for West Port. He helped lead the team to 12 wins, while belting five home runs. Both marks are a school record. Those stats helped him sign a scholarship to play at the next level for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.

But the senior also produced in classroom. He has a 3.8 g.p.a. Yaccarina believes the better he does academically, the more it boosts his self-esteem.

“When I get good grades it makes me feel good about myself,” said Yaccarino. “It makes me feel good that I can keep on pushing and doing better.”

He also comes from a military background, and is enrolled in the school’s Junior Officers’ Training Corps. He feels the program has pushed him to be better.

“The instructors, they’re all so…I guess great. They’re great people. They really are. They’re also one of the people that motivate me too because they bring such a joy to the classroom everyday.”

Yaccarino hopes to one day become a professional baseball player, but realizes that may not happen. So, he’s already got a solid backup plan in mind if life doesn’t follow his dream.

“I thought about being in the Navy. And I would love to be a Navy Seal. I’ve idolized that my whole life. Because my cousin, my older cousin who did go here, he’s in the Marines right now and I’ve just always idolized going in to the military.”

His coach has seen tremendous growth, both physically and mentally over the course of the season, he firmly believes Yaccarino can excel at whatever he decides to pursue.

“If he doesn’t make it as a player which I one hundred percent believe he will,” said West Port High School Baseball Coach Billy Renfroe. “But if he doesn’t, Navy Seal, he’d fit in perfectly there. He’s definitely got what it takes to fit in there.”

Jayson Yaccarino has shown excellence on and off the field that can only be rewarded by being named the TV20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete of the Week.

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