Jarrett Fuller is a coach’s son.
But he’s not coached by Dad. Maybe if he’d been born a decade sooner, but ...
Even so, as the son of former L.D. Bell assistant coach Ray Fuller, Jarrett came to the varsity with a sturdy knowledge of the game and what was expected of him.
“The fact that my dad was a coach has given me insight into certain expectations that Coach [Paul] Gibson wants and allowed me to be prepared for Coach Gibson’s philosophy,” Jarrett said.
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Ray Fuller was an assistant for the Blue Raiders from 1994 to 2005. Now he an assistant principal at the school.
While he may not be in the dugout, Bell baseball is still a popular topic in the Fuller household. In fact, sports in general is a regular point of conversation between dad and son.
“We talk about various sports and try to watch whatever game is on together,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett is a senior in his second varsity season. He plays second base and pitches in relief. Although he’s not had his dad for either junior varsity or varsity ball as a coach, he learned plenty from him in the years prior.
“Whenever I was little, he was very active in coaching me in baseball, and if he wasn’t able to be the formal coach for my team, he was still able to help me develop my skills,” Jarrett said.
Those skills have him handling himself well at two pressure-packed positions. Through the first 17 games, he had been a part of six double plays and had committed one error in 50 chances for a .980 fielding percentage. On the mound, he entered the week with a 2-0 record with a 0.70 earned run average.
“He has played a great second base this year,” said Gibson. “He grew up around the program and has a pretty good idea about what is expected of him.”
Not only have Jarrett and his dad been a big part of the baseball program, his older sister Jaymie played softball for the Lady Raiders from 2010 to 2013. Like Jarrett, she had a starting position her final two years, as catcher.
Jarrett said he doesn’t prefer one position over the other but enjoys playing both tremendously. And he thrives under the pressure of both.
“There is definitely pressure and intensity in both positions,” he said. “At second base, I have to try to stay calm and relaxed and be aware of everything that is going on.
“While pitching and trying to close a game, the intensity is definitely heightened because of the importance of the situation.”
And while Jarrett has given his dad, the former baseball coach, plenty of reasons to be proud of his play on the field, he has also given his dad, the assistant principal, ample reasons to boast about him scholastically. Aside from baseball, Jarrett is involved in the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and class council while being in the International Baccalaureate program.
He’s also ranked 54th in his class out of 630 students.
“Maintaining the high standards for grades that I have for myself requires constant effort and focus, but I still have time to be with my family and enjoy baseball,” he said.