Checking in with Rick Porcello's high school coach

Jim Monaghan
Content Coordinator

When Morris County NJ native Rick Porcello takes the mound for the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series tonight in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, one of the people who will be closely watching back home in New Jersey will be Mike Sheppard Jr.

Rick Porcello, Seton Hall Prep
It wasn't that long ago that Mike had Porcello on the mound as a high school pitcher for Seton Hall Prep where Mike has been the head baseball coach for more than three decades, guiding teams to dozens of conference and New Jersey state titles.

Speaking on the WDHA Morning Jolt in New Jersey, Sheppard described the mood on campus as one of pride and excitement. "We're on the edge of our seats and can't wait to see how he performs.

Porcello is not the first Seton Hall Prep Pirate to make it to the major leagues; in fact, Joe Martinez made his MLB debut just two days before Porcello in April 2009. But to Sheppard, there's something special about Porcello that has led him to have the long career he's had so far.

"With Rick, and thinking back to our 2007 class," Sheppard remembered, "he was just a leader at that time...a kid with great humility, great work ethic...and other kids realized how talented he was. They looked to see how he approached the game and how he went about his business."

"He was a team-oriented player who just loved the game and was willing to work hard to get better. He's one of the great competitors that I've had the privilege of coaching in a game."

The entire interview with Mike Sheppard Jr. can be found here on the WDHA website.

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