Trey Polewski stayed with Trip Pickle and Mary Beth Jenkins this summer. The trio is pictured here with Copperheads intern Taylor Sweet.
ASHEBORO – Playing baseball for an entire summer in the Coastal Plain League is a definite grind and can be very challenging for a college-aged player, especially when that player is far away from home.
The majority of the roster for the Asheboro Copperheads this past season were players who had to pack up their belongings and head hours away from the comfortable surroundings they have become accustomed to in order to enhance their baseball skills.
Waiting for their arrival in Asheboro were a number of host families, who provided the player with a home for the entire season. Although it sounds like an awkward situation, those families work diligently to assure that each player has a comfortable home to retreat to during the hectic summer season.
“I was a little nervous to go that far away, that was my first thought,” said Brant Schaffitzel, a Drury product who lives in Springfield, Mo. “I think everyone is definitely nervous and scared about living with people they never met. You are definitely nervous before you get there. But I had a great experience. My host family was really nice and they connected with the host families of my buddies and we all hung out.”
Schaffitzel stayed with John and Cathy Grey.
“Whenever you are away from your family and in scenery you don’t know, it’s nice to have people who support you and will be nice to you,” Schaffitzel added. “It makes you feel like you’re not in such a foreign place.”
Trey Polewski, a third baseman who lives in Aiken, S.C., and attends USC Aiken, spent his third straight summer away from home, staying this summer with Trip Pickle and Mary Beth Jenkins.
“For me, I’m a pretty social guy and I have done this song and dance with this summer ball,”
said Polewski, who also played in the Midwest Collegiate League and the Valley League before joining the Copperheads for this past CPL season. “You are kinda nervous. You don’t know anyone. I was nervous about it, but the first day I got there, they welcomed me with open arms. There was a team meeting and then a cookout for all the players and host families and that helped out a lot.
“Every experience is different. Asheboro treated me well,” added Polewski. “I loved Asheboro, I really did. I talk to my host family every day. We became really close and they got to be an extended family for me.”
Jonathan Martin, an outfielder who lives in Georgia and attends Georgia Southwestern, said he was apprehensive at first, but very quickly settled into a comfortable situation. He stayed with Michael and Beth Campbell.
“I was thinking about how it might be different from my home and I didn’t want to do anything to make them mad at me,” Martin said. “Once I go there, it was like home. They had four kids and it was great.”
Jonathan Martin stayed with the Campbell family
Martin said he learned a lot this past summer.
“I never have been good with kids, so it took a little time for me to come out of my shell,” Martin said. “I had to come out of my shell and interact and they were great.”