By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 26, 2014) – Loudoun Valley High School senior Jordan Dean “JD” Carpenter will be taking his talents to Illinois this fall to play baseball for head coach Matt Husted at Wheaton College beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
“The fact that I know where I am going to play ball and go to school takes a heavy burden off my shoulders,” said the 6-foot-1 Carpenter. “I feel extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to play the game I love, enhance my faith in the Lord and receive a wonderful education at Wheaton College.”
Carpenter chose the Christian, private-school primarily because of the success of its academic programs.
“Throughout my recruitment process my goal was to use my baseball abilities to open doors to better opportunities and universities,” said the Purcellville-native. “There are a multitude of reasons why I picked Wheaton, but the main reason was the strong academics – Wheaton is always ranked near or at the top of all Christian colleges in the nation – mixed with the commitment to a successful athletic department.”
Coach Husted has a solid recruiting base out of Northern Virginia as three current members of the baseball program are from the area. With the help of the Virginian-athletes, Husted has led the Division III Thunder to a 6-4 record this spring.
The Thunder open up their College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin schedule on March 28 in Rock Island, Illinois against Augustana College.
“Throughout my conversations with coach Husted, he has held me up to a high standard and expects me to perform accordingly,” said Carpenter who will play third base for Wheaton. “On the day of my commitment, he told me that he predicts that I compete for a starting position right away as a freshman, hit in the middle of the lineup and add a powerful hitter in the lineup on the left side on the plate. Currently, there is a successful player for the Thunder, and coach has faith that I will follow in his footsteps as I move through my athletic career at Wheaton.”
Like Husted, Carpenter’s father had confidence from an early age that his son would be a success baseball player.
“My father is the one I credit for introducing me to baseball. Starting when I was four years old, my father coached me and taught me the game of baseball,” Carpenter said. “He pushed me to the limit every day, not letting me quit, in order to strengthen me and teach me life lessons.
“Ever since then, baseball has come to define who I am and what I stand for. Baseball has put me through many trials, but through these trials I have learned to strengthen my mental fortitude, self-motivation and perseverance. I believe these skills have helped prepare me to take on the challenges of life’s demands.”
The demand Carpenter has right in front of him is playing his senior season for head coach Wayne Todd and the Loudoun Valley Vikings.
In 2013, Carpenter helped the Vikings to a win in the VHSL Region II tournament over Heritage High School before Loudoun Valley fell to Sherando, 1-0, in the region quarterfinal finishing the season 15-9.
“I am very optimistic about this upcoming season for myself and our team. As for myself, I expect to play at a very high level throughout the season and my goal is to play at an All-Conference level and hopefully reach the All-Region and All-State levels,” said Carpenter who plays travel baseball for the Richmond Braves.
“I have very high confidence in our team this season. I believe we have the best coaching in our area, and the unique blend of our talent, experience, team chemistry and coaching sets us apart from the rest,” Carpenter added. “We all understand that we are holding ourselves to a high standard and that we must work extremely hard to meet these goals this season.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!