In the late innings of a recent one-sided A.L. Brown victory over visiting Vance, right-hander Kameron Sherrill took his stance in the batter’s box and roped a pitch down the left field line.
The Cougars’ left fielder tried to make a play on the line drive but it was hit so hard that the ball skipped past him on one bounce and rolled all the way to the 345-foot sign in the corner of Veterans Field.
Sherrill busted out of the box and didn’t stop sprinting until he pulled up at third base for an easy stand-up triple.
In a matter of seconds, Sherrill displayed many of the qualities that have made the senior an all-conference center fielder for the Wonders: speed, determination, and the ability to lead by example.
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“Cameron is a very hard-nose baseball player,” said Brown coach Empsy Thompson. “He’s pretty much our leader. He has one speed. That’s the beauty of his whole situation. He’s one of those kids that just goes hard and that’s the only way he knows how to play the game.”
Thompson is happy that Sherrill has been in his program for four years. But until his ninth grade year, Sherrill was destined to be a South Rowan Raider.
Sherrill lived in Landis and attended Corriher-Lipe Middle School. After his seventh grade year, Sherrill’s mother, Kristi Nesbitt McVay, died after a chronic battle with blood clots.
Before his freshman year, Sherrill moved into the Kannapolis home of his uncle, Marc Nesbitt, and transferred to A.L. Brown. Sherrill helped the Wonders’ junior varsity team to a 19-4 record as a freshman.
Sherrill grew up an infielder but converted to the outfield during his eighth grade season. By the time he reached Brown, center field was Sherrill’s permanent home.
During his sophomore year, Sherrill worked his way into the varsity lineup, specializing mostly in defense but lacking punch at the plate.
Thompson had a good feeling about Sherrill going into his junior year. But even the Wonders’ 16-year head coach couldn’t have predicted how good Sherrill’s season was going to be.
“We knew he was going to be a good player for us,” said Thompson. “But he led us in about every statistical category there is. To be honest, I didn’t expect that. We thought he would be a guy that would set the table for us, steal some bags, drop some bunts, but he was very solid in the outfield.”
In 2014, Sherrill led Brown with a .348 batting average, six doubles, 10 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 17 runs scored. The Wonders made the state playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Just as important was the leadership Sherrill gave to a couple of underclassmen that flanked him in the outfield. Sophomores Jordan Reid and Damon Johnson were in left field and right field, respectively, and the three retained their starting positions this season.
With a 5-foot-6, 155-pound build, Sherrill knows he’s never going to be a power hitter. But with his lightning speed and keen vision, his defense can often change games.
“Anything hit in the air I think I can catch, that’s just how I am,” said Sherrill. “I just see the ball off the bat probably better than most people.”
Sherrill will likely play with Kannapolis American Legion Post 115 this summer. He has received interest from Surry Community College and Wingate.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Joe? Email him at email@example.com.