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Williamsport's Jamison puts team before personal goals

April 14, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Williamsport senior A.J. Jamison entered this baseball season as the most decorated player in Washington County.

He'll be a lot happier if the Wildcats finish the season as the county's most decorated team.

"Individual awards aren't very important to me, as long as the team is successful," Jamison said. "Obviously, winning states is a big (goal)."

"A.J. is more about what the team can accomplish, and not himself," Williamsport coach Larnie Vickers said. "He wants to win more than anybody on the team, and he wants to win with these guys."

Jamison is the only county player to make the Maryland All-State preseason team, selected by the state association of baseball coaches. He also was named to Louisville Slugger's Preseason All-America second team.

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"It's a great accomplishment," said Jamison, who didn't take long to return to his team-first philosophy. "I've got to give props to my supporting cast. It's not just me who deserves the honors, it's a team effort."

Jamison shared 2007 All-County Player of the Year honors with Kyle Kane -- a catcher who graduated from Boonsboro -- and was the Herald-Mail All-Area First Team catcher. He hit .541 with eight doubles, five homers, 14 RBI and nine steals.

But Jamison's influence goes beyond the line drives he hits and the runners he guns down trying to steal. It's not hard to see the leadership he provides, as he yells out instructions and doles out advice both on the field and in the dugout. It's a role he takes great pride in.

"I have a lot of heart, and that's one thing you can't teach," Jamison said. "People with heart and leadership, that's so important at the high school level. You need that on the team."

"He takes total control on the field," Vickers said. "He's smart, he works hard day in and day out, and he'll help anybody on the team get better. He's what you need in a catcher and in a leader."

Jamison has not signed with a college yet -- he said Shenandoah University, an NCAA Division III program in Winchester, Va., is his most likely destination.

"He's got all the tools he needs for college," Vickers said. "Shenandoah has a great coaching staff, and when he hits the weight room and faces better pitching, I hope that all gives him a shot at the pros someday."

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