News

Senior catcher responds to Ten Questions

He speaks of big wins, big hits, camo jerseys and three head coaches


WAXAHACHIE, Texas   --  New York Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra is known today as much for his amusing quotes as for his performance on the diamond.
For example, he once said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”

The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team takes the field this weekend in a season-ending, home series against Northwood University. The play of their catcher, Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS), will do the talking. His numbers add up better than Yogi's quote.

A senior from the Rio Grande Valley, he is known by his gritty effort behind the plate or in leftfield almost as much for the productivity of his bat.

Denton has already (unofficially) broken a few SAGU records. Among them, career at bats, triples in a career and total bases in a career. Last year his five triples tied the mark for three-baggers in a season.

The six-footer could smash a few others as well. Three hits would snap Dustin Jett’s career mark and two more doubles would surpass Tommy Benningfield’s record.

A big effort this weekend in home runs (two) and runs batted in (nine) could establish new totals for the team.

His response to statistical high-water marks was one of humility and hope. “I’d rather our team does something we never have,” he said, “which is to earn our way into the conference tournament.”

To do that the Lions must hold off St. Gregory’s University or Mid-America Christian University and remain in the Top 8 in the league. After spending much of the spring in sixth place, the Purple Pride is currently in seventh, one game of the aforementioned teams.

SAGU has to win one of the three games against Northwood to make the NCCAA Central Regional tournament field.

Denton sat down this week in an interview and summed up his career in a series of questions.

Question No. 1)  You have played for three different head coaches. What have you received from each of them?

JD:  Each coach I have had in my college experience has instilled something different in my playing career. Coach (Greg) Hayes was my coach in my freshman year. He is the one who gave me an opportunity.

I came to SAGU as a walk-on and he didn’t hold that against me. He gave me ample chances and occasions to prove myself and earn a spot on his field.

Coach (Jon) Shockley was during my sophomore and junior seasons. He was a defensive/pitching-minded coach. He was great and ensured the pitcher and catcher were always on the same page.

Lastly, Coach (Sam) Blackmon arrived this year. I cannot say enough about him. He has vastly improved my game in every form.

From defensive strategies to the specifics of my swing, Coach Blackmon has turned me into a better player.

He has such a knack for hitting! And he works with each of us regularly on an individual basis.

Q2)  Why did you enroll at SAGU?

JD:   I came here for the Christian environment. It’s what has kept me here. I also knew God had called me to SAGU and that it was the place for me. Baseball was just the icing on the cake.

Coach Hayes told me that there would be a place on his roster for me and that is how it all began. From there I was able to improve my game and earn a spot on his starting roster.

Q3)  How do you describe your experience here?

JD This school has been great for me! It is the perfect fit for my life.

I appreciate how the professors, coaches and faculty genuinely care about you. At many other schools you may become "just another student."

SAGU doesn’t do that to you. The staff here exhibits Christ-like qualities and really cares about our lives.

Q4)  What is your major and your career plans?

JD:   I am going to graduate with a degree in Sports Management. My long-term goal is to find a spot in a front office for a professional team. For the time-being, I am looking to further my career in baseball.

Q5)  You’ve been a part of many wins for the Lions. Can you tell us about just two of them that stick out in your memory?

JD:  Two of the biggest wins I have ever had happened this year. The first was against Texas Wesleyan. We had never beaten them in my first three seasons. They have always had our number.

When we played them this year they were receiving votes in the Top 25 in the nation. Going in we knew it was going to be a tough battle.

(Jeremy) Cross was my battery mate that game and he pitched a spectacular game. We earned a win, 3-2, and for the first time, I got to be a part of a SAGU win over the Rams.

The second came against Mid-America Christian University.

We were in an intense battle all game long. Entering the 7th (inning) both teams were still scoreless. I led off that inning and hit a home run to leftfield to win it.

(Jarrod) Pisors and (Tucker) Burt teamed up for a three-hit shutout in that game.

Q6)  What were your most memorable plays in your four years?

JD: That home run versus MACU was the most memorable in my career. It was at home too!
 
Two unforgettable moments occurred behind the plate.

The first was in the win at Wesleyan. They had two men on (base) and there was one out. Jeremy got the next guy on a fielder’s choice and then retired the last guy on a fly to (Brock) Schneider. That last out felt so good!

Also, in a home game against Hillsdale Baptist a year or two ago. They tried to steal home late in the game. I was able to block the plate and we caught him for the out.

Q7)  What’s the deal with those camouflage jerseys?

JD The camo jerseys were the coaches’ idea. Most of us players had never worn them in high school. Coach Blackmon thought, as an alternate shirt, it would be a cool, different idea for the "new Lions." We really like them. We usually wear them on Saturday when “Tres” (Ortiz) pitches.

Q8)  This weekend is Senior Day. Two of the other three seniors came the same year as you. Care to tell us about them?

JD:  Those two guys, Nick (Sheffield) and Tali (Fletcher) have been here with me from the start. They have been through all of the good and the bad for four years.

I have the utmost respect for both of those guys. They are my brothers.

Q9)  You speak well of Coach Hayes and Coach Shockley. What do you think of the program now that Coach Blackmon is at the helm?

JD:  Coach Blackmon has this program heading a great direction! From the moment he stepped on campus and took over as head coach, he has started making improvements.

With his direction, the sky is the limit! Coach’s ability and leadership will produce a team to be reckoned with. It’s just a matter of time.

Q10)  May 11th signals a wonderful experience in your life. You are getting married to Shelby Morgan, who came here to play on the women’s soccer team. What’s in the plans for you both?

JD:  Shelby and I will be staying here in Waxahachie. We will be continuing to seek God's will for our lives through this transitioning phase.

She will most likely be attending SAGU in the fall to get her Master's degree. I plan on attempting to further my baseball career, wherever that may lead.

Denton is the only child to parents Randy and Donna. They are both ministers.

Denton has improved his batting average during his four years in Waxahachie; from .291 to .305 and to .365 as a junior. Currently he’s at .405, which ranks No. 7 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

The congenial Jared wears jersey number 11. When he hangs up his cleats at SAGU, he will likely need only one numeral. It is where he will rate in terms of productivity in purple.

Contact:  Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

Alumni News

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
SAGU Alumna Kristen Welch authors "Rhinestone Jesus"

SAGU Alumna Kristen Welch authors "Rhinestone Jesus"

Jul 17, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas – July 17, 2014 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumna and well-known blog author Kristen Clark Welch published her second book "Rhinestone Jesus&...

Read more
Former SAGU professor, Dr. Gene Brown, passes at age 78

Former SAGU professor, Dr. Gene Brown, passes at age 78

Jul 03, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas – July 3, 2014 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) professor, Dr. Gene Brown, died at the age of 78 on June 29, 2014. SAGU's Dean of Graduate Studie...

Read more
Former SAGU president, Hershel A. Brummett, dies at age 84

Former SAGU president, Hershel A. Brummett, dies at age 84

Jun 25, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas – June 25, 2014 – Dr. Hershel A. Brummett, president of Southwestern Assemblies of God College (SAGC) from 1979-1982, died at the age of 84 on Monday, June 23, 2014, in T...

Read more
SAGU alumnus publishes 'Changing Church: It's Never Too Late'

SAGU alumnus publishes 'Changing Church: It's Never Too Late'

May 14, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — May 14, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus and Senior Pastor of Copper Pointe Church (Albuquerque, NM) Galen Woodward published "Chan...

Read more
Alumnus records church's worship album, first recording in HCC

Alumnus records church's worship album, first recording in HCC

May 12, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — May 12, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus and Worship Pastor at New Community Church (NCC) (Mesquite, Texas) David Belt recorded the churc...

Read more
SAGU alumnus creates youth ministry curriculum

SAGU alumnus creates youth ministry curriculum

Mar 07, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — March 7, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Dustin Woodward, a former Young Alumni Award Recipient, recently launched a youth and young ...

Read more
Alumnus pastors one of 2013's Top 100 fastest growing churches in America

Alumnus pastors one of 2013's Top 100 fastest growing churches in America

Mar 07, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — March 7, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Abram Gomez serves as the executive pastor of Valley International Christian Center (VICC) i...

Read more
SAGU alumna coordinates Waxahachie community giveaway

SAGU alumna coordinates Waxahachie community giveaway

Feb 10, 2014 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — February. 10, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumna and adjunct instructor Rebecca Manguno hosted Waxahachie Bible Church's 4th annual A...

Read more
SAGU dedicates Hagee Communication Center on Dec. 11

SAGU dedicates Hagee Communication Center on Dec. 11

Nov 19, 2013 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — November 19, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) will dedicate the John and Diana Hagee Communication Center (HCC) on Wednesday, December 11. ...

Read more
VAR Resources employs 15 SAGU alumni

VAR Resources employs 15 SAGU alumni

Nov 12, 2013 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas — November 12, 2013 — VAR Resources President and CEO and Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Gary Sutton has employed 15 SAGU alumni over the pas...

Read more
Alumni Relations 'mugs' students during first week

Alumni Relations 'mugs' students during first week

Aug 30, 2012 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas – August 29, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) launched a new tradition Tuesday, August 28. The Alumni Relations office "mugged" hundreds of students in the ...

Read more
Alumna walks 250 miles for pro-life movement

Alumna walks 250 miles for pro-life movement

Mar 27, 2012 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, Texas – March 28, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumna Carisma Reyes will walk 250 miles in 21 days with 38 other women for the “Back to Life” movement in a...

Read more
Alumnus leads opening prayer for U.S. Congress

Alumnus leads opening prayer for U.S. Congress

Dec 19, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX - December 19, 2011 - Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Bryan Thiessen was selected by Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy (18th district) to give the invocati...

Read more
Alumna to compete on “Food Network Challenge,” November 13

Alumna to compete on “Food Network Challenge,” November 13

Nov 08, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX – November 8, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumna Wendy Weixel Collinsworth will appear on the Food Network Channel’s “Food Network...

Read more
Alumnus serves as youth pastor at The Potter’s House

Alumnus serves as youth pastor at The Potter’s House

Nov 07, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX – November 7, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Drew Castillo serves as “The Fire House” youth pastor at The Potter’s Hous...

Read more
Alumna serves as SMU Chi Alpha pastor

Alumna serves as SMU Chi Alpha pastor

Oct 28, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX – October 28, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumna Mandy (Bass) Pathak serves alongside husband Shomik in the Chi Alpha ministry at Southern Met...

Read more
Delmer and Eleanor Guynes memorialized in dormitory

Delmer and Eleanor Guynes memorialized in dormitory

Oct 26, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX – October 26, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) memorialized Delmer and Eleanor Guynes with a wall display during the Homecoming events held on Frid...

Read more
Alumna receives Milken Educator Award

Alumna receives Milken Educator Award

Oct 18, 2011 - Alumni News

Waxahachie, TX – October 18, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Alumna Andrea Morales McKenna was presented with a Milken Educator Award on October 7, 2011. McKenna...

Read more
Eleanor Guynes Memorial Service to be streamed, Friday, May 20, 2PM

Eleanor Guynes Memorial Service to be streamed, Friday, May 20, 2PM

May 14, 2011 - Alumni News

Kind Words "Thank you Lord for a faithful servant!" Terrell Welch "Heaven just received another hero of the faith." Anita Cook "My deepest ...

Read more
Alumnus Jerrod Ramirez Serves as Federal Prison Chaplain

Alumnus Jerrod Ramirez Serves as Federal Prison Chaplain

Nov 17, 2010 - Alumni News

Alumnus Jerrod Ramirez recently became a Federal Prison Chaplain at the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colorado. Ramirez previously served as a navy chaplain. Jerrod and Stephanie Ra...

Read more
Alumna Brandi Lewis Trains Men's Pair Champions

Alumna Brandi Lewis Trains Men's Pair Champions

Oct 27, 2010 - Alumni News

Alumna Brandi Lewis recently produced the first elite athletes in Acrobatic Gymnastics in Texas. Men’s Pair Axel Osborne and Dylan Inserra are Senior National Team members and three-time nati...

Read more
Alumna Stephanie Graham Named Teacher of the Year

Alumna Stephanie Graham Named Teacher of the Year

Sep 28, 2010 - Alumni News

SAGU alumna Stephanie Graham was recently named Teacher of the Year for Life School in Lancaster, Texas. Graham graduated from SAGU in 2008 with a degree in Elementary Education. Graham was sel...

Read more