DeMass hits home run as LPHS educator, coach
LPHS has not only been lucky enough to have an outstanding staff but also members of the staff willing to go out of their way to be coaches. Coaches like Mr. Jeffery DeMass teach students all day about the history of the world and turn around at the end of the day and coach his baseball team to victory and a successful life.
DeMass has been a member of the LPHS staff for eight years and has been coaching the LPHS boys baseball team ever since. He graduated from LPHS back in 2005, and his heart never quite left Schreiber Field.
“I am a graduate of LaPorte, and it is home to me. I know a lot of people around town, so it makes it a little easier,” DeMass said.
DeMass did not always know he wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t till seventh grade that his mind was set on pursuing education. The choice for his future was due to the influence of the great staff members around him.
“It was something that I decided I wanted to do when I was in middle school. I had a really good group of seventh grade teachers who influenced me to become a teacher,” DeMass said.
Educators like DeMass don’t only teach to educate about the past but also to inform about the life ahead.
“My teaching philosophy is to teach the subject that I am responsible for but to do it in a way that challenges students to question and wonder about the world around them,” DeMass said.
Once the 2:40 bell rings, DeMass becomes Coach DeMass. He grew up playing baseball from a young age after his mom signed him up for t-ball. He ended up playing baseball for 12 years and now has been coaching for the past 11 years.
“I love baseball! To me it is the perfect sport. It combines individual performance with team sport concepts. Baseball is the ultimate challenge. It is a game of failure, which makes it much more of a mental sport then any other. That is what I love about coaching baseball, the mental side of it. ‘How can you not be romantic about baseball?’ –Moneyball,” DeMass said.
Baseball has made a great impact on DeMass. He was a pitcher and first baseman for the Slicer throughout his high school career being coached by Coach Upp, DeMass won three Sectional championships as well as two Regional championships during his four years in high school.
“Baseball has been an important part of my life for 25 years. There is always something new and different about baseball. You can play/coach the game for 30 plus years and see something new that has never happened,” DeMass said.
He did not always want to be a baseball coach. It wasn’t something that he knew when he stopped playing. He originally wanted to be a basketball coach, but as time went on, he realized he’d much rather coach baseball. He thought that being a baseball coach would help him reconnect with that portion of his life.
“I don’t think I can honestly say that I always wanted to be a coach, but much like teaching, I love what I do. There are moments on the field that are my fondest memories. As well as some of those have been while I was coaching. I didn’t realize how much I missed being around baseball until I started coaching it. It really flipped a switch for me,” DeMass said.
DeMass works extremely hard as the pitching coach for the LPHS baseball team. He knows the power sports can have on creating not only great athletes but great people.
“My biggest goal as a coach is to develop good baseball players but along the way, develop young men who will become husbands, fathers, and good citizens to their communities,” DeMass said.
DeMass has impacted many students as well as his players. He teaches his athletes to always take the high road and to work hard to achieve their goals.
“DeMass has impacted me by teaching me life skills in baseball such as leadership and commitment in the game while making me a better player and person. He always puts time away for us while balancing us as players and his family. I’ve seen his devotion for not only our baseball team but also to his son during the summer baseball season while I was umpiring their games,” junior baseball player AJ Mrozinske said.
DeMass has worked for years and has made a great impact on everyone around him. His love for LPHS and the community has shaped countless lives and inspired students beyond the classroom. His devotion for what he does is seen by all and appreciated by many