Trey Shaffer heads to SLU as Gatorade Mississippi Player of the - - The News for South Mississippi

Trey Shaffer heads to SLU as Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year

Former Biloxi Indian Trey Shaffer Former Biloxi Indian Trey Shaffer

Despite a stellar senior season at Biloxi High School, Trey Shaffer could hardly believe he had been named Gatorade Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year, the first Biloxi Indian in program history to earn the honor. 

"I looked at it, saw my name and it said I was a (player of the year), and I said 'oh my gosh,'" Shaffer said. "I yelled downstairs to my dad, 'Dad, I just got Gatorade Player of the Year,' he's like 'there's no way!'" 

A quick glance at his stats make it easy to believe. The senior posted an 8-1 record on the mound with a 1.20 ERA to go with 106 strikeouts, leading the Indians to the 2017 Class 6A Quarterfinals.

"The mound is a mental game," Shaffer said of his pitching performance this year. "You can't just get up there and think 'oh, maybe I can get this guy.' You have to know you can get him out. That's really my whole motto. It's not the best motto, but I get there and I try to throw it by you." 

It's the culmination of a storied prep career for Shaffer, going from a three-sport athlete just trying to find his place in the lineup to now finishing as an elite two-way player, an ace on the mound and a Southeastern Louisiana signee. 

"There's a lot of times where I didn't even have to say anything to him, he handled it," Biloxi head coach Eddie Lofton said. "He took that leadership role, of course, he was one of our team captains. He's just that guy that you always dream of coaching, you don't get guys like this very often. When you do, you just kind of run with it." 

With the award in tow, Shaffer soon heads to Hammond, Louisiana to join a program on the rise. In his fourth year at the helm, head coach Matt Riser led SLU to a 2-seed in the Baton Rouge regional, the highest NCAA Tournament seeding in program history. Shaffer says he can't wait to play for the Picayune product.

"Man, he's taken that program to a new level," Shaffer said of Riser. "He's got a fire under those kids, they're really wanting to play for him. Who wouldn't want to play for him?"

As he prepares for his collegiate career, or depending on how Tuesday's MLB Draft goes, maybe something different, Shaffer plans to proudly carry the Biloxi name along the way.

"It was an honor," Shaffer said of his Indians career. "I've had some of the best times I've ever (had) playing baseball at this place. We're all close-knit, it's just (been) awesome being here."

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