TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 8) – Florida A&M head baseball coach Jamey Shouppe was all smiles this morning, much like a kid waiting to unwrap gifts under a Christmas tree on Christmas Day. FAMU baseball received its brand new Daktronics scoreboard which will be in place for Fall baseball 2018 and the 2019 baseball season.
The massive board will replace the previous one which has over two decades of service at Moore-Kittles Field. “I’m so appreciative of the FAMU SGA under the leadership of Devin Harrison and their desire to do this. We didn’t have to push it very hard. They jumped right on it and we’re very proud and appreciative that they purchased this for us,” Shouppe said.
Harrison, who is in Charlotte, NC on internship, was overwhelmed that this was coming to fruition. “When Amber (Hannah) and Johnika (Moss) brought this to us after talking to athletics, it immediately interested me. Student government is here to support students. So often, people forget that athletes are students first. I feel this is an opportunity to enhance our school’s look and encourage our student-athletes to perform better. It is truly a great imaging piece for our school,” Harrison said.
FAMU Director of Athletics John Eason, Ph.D. is excited in what resulted from this partnership. “I wasn’t on the job a solid month before I had to make a presentation to the SGA about partnering with athletics to provide this scoreboard for our student-athletes. It was a pleasant experience as they were on board. I thank president Harrison for his leadership and the full SGA for approving the project,” Eason said.
The board will be installed by Apogee signs in early July. The new wireless system will eliminate some of the issues related to connection inconsistencies with the previous board.
Since Shouppe’s arrival, he has engaged in an aggressive upgrading of the baseball facilities. The first project he completed was a field drainage reconstruction. Shortly after that, he revamped the dugouts with a see-thru fence to replace concrete walls. Through Shouppe’s efforts, a quality baseball batting/pitching cage was constructed on the home side of the baseball field. One of the most noticeable improvements was the removal of the fencing that provided the backstop for FAMU baseball. Replacing it with see-through netting was a marked improvement to the fans’ experience during games.
Currently, the two projects are the scoreboard and the locker room/baseball office facility. The locker room has been wired with electricity and shortly construction will begin on the interior remodeling.
“Your facilities are the first thing that prospective athletes look at when they come in," SHouppe said. Kids like stuff. They like to see new things. When our returning players come back in the fall, I want them to be as excited as I am today. We have done a few things and we’ve got a few more things to get done, but this scoreboard is a big part of our perception.”
Harrison is elated in the opportunity to mark his tenure as SGA president with the new showpiece. “The accomplishment is insurmountable. This will be a landmark defining our dedication to our student-athletes. We are honored to have coach Shouppe mark the board with our names. It is something that will show the impact we were able to have and will have for years to come.”