Like father, like son: ACCS senior finds peace on diamond with guidance from dad

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Adams County Christian School’s Jacob McDaniel enjoyed success underneath the Friday night lights as quarterback for the Rebels.  However, the baseball diamond has always been his true calling.

Ever since McDaniel could remember, he was always playing baseball. He even started T-ball early.

After this season, McDaniel is set to play for Southwest Mississippi Community College. He doesn’t know what position he will play for Bears yet, but he does know he wouldn’t be in his position if it weren’t for his dad, Andy McDaniel.

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“My dad was a big baseball player,” McDaniel said. “He played for Vidalia, that’s where he grew up and played at. He’s always been into it, and it’s really like father, like son. I’ve followed in his footsteps.”

From when he was little to now as a senior Rebel, McDaniel’s dad has always led him toward the diamond. During that time, McDaniel said his father has given him multiple tips along the way.

“He is always giving me pointers,” McDaniel said. “He is always like ‘You need to try this and that.’ He has always taught me stuff. After every game he is telling me what I did wrong. It’s great to have that type of person in your corner. He’s always there trying to give me tips.”

One way McDaniel’s dad has helped him improve in baseball was giving him the nickname E6 during his travel ball career — which means error by the shortstop.

McDaniel said his father believes the best way to get him to perform well was by making him mad. So whenever McDaniel made an error fielding, his dad would shoutout “Come on E6.”

“I’ll be playing shortstop, and I would let the ball go by between my legs,” McDaniel said. “He would then call me E6.”

While it was frustrating garnering such a nickname, McDaniel knew it was his dad pushing him to be his best.

Other people around McDaniel have also seen his dad trying to make him better.

“His dad definitely pushed him and has definitely pushed him baseball wise,” said ACCS coach Matthew Freeman. “He has worked with him a lot, too. His dad is big influence on his baseball career.”

Thanks to his dad helping him become the player McDaniel is today, he now feels there is no more pressure on his shoulders.

During his junior year, McDaniel felt like he had to prove himself. He pushed himself to ensure he could further his baseball career. Once McDaniel signed his National Letter of Intent at Southwest, he felt relief and could have fun with his teammates once again.

Heading into this season, Freeman expected McDaniel to be a leader for the Rebels. He has, Freeman said, been one of the top players for ACCS and he has continued to perform well for the blue and white, too.

“I have a good batting average,” McDaniel said. “I’m pitching pretty good. My fielding could use a little bit of work, I can admit that.”

Although McDaniel feels like the year could be going better, he said he knows two things are for sure: he is lucky to have his dad in his corner and he is the better player of the two.

“Every step, every obstacle, he has helped me,” McDaniel said.

“Oh me definitely. Definitely.”