by Mike Williams
Missouri College Media Award: Second Place, Sports Column
On a day when the adrenaline of a game should be pumping through the veins of the Longview Lakers baseball team, the monotony of practice takes the forefrontafter yet another cancellation for weather.
This in no way tempers the work ethic of Lakers outfielder Shawn Egge. He is in the Longview Rec Center, along with the rest of his teammates, lifting weights and getting in some batting practice. In an era of egocentric athletes, Egge is the antithesis of that. A quiet confidence encompasses him, despite his being such a promising athlete.
Shawn Egge attended Williston High School in North Dakota. Along with baseball, Egge played football and basketball as well. He originally signed with the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota to play both football and baseball. But Longview baseball coach Clint Culbertson changed all that when he had a chance to see Egge play in a baseball tournament in Omaha, Neb.
“The first time I met Coach, I really liked him,” Egge said. “I really always wanted to play just baseball, a little more south.”
Egge is not a particularly imposing figure. At six feet, 180 pounds, one would assume he is more of a contact or a hit-for-average guy with minimal power. This could not be further from the truth. Egge has tremendous pop in his bat, predominantly due to his picture perfect swing. Egge credits the Griffey-like smoothness of his swing to his coach from back home in North Dakota, Chip Devlin, who was once drafted by the Chicago White Sox. Egge said Culbertson further helped him hone in on his sweet swing and overall offensive performance once he got to Longview.
The numbers support the productivity of Egge’s offense. Last spring he set the single season homerun record at Longview with 20 bombs. Egge also plays solid defense, consistently getting great reads on the balls and gliding through center field, making difficult plays look routine.
Egge is also well liked and respected by his teammates for his leadership and toughness. “He plays the game the right way,” pitcher Kyle Thornton said. “There are no shortcuts with him.”
Pitcher Jake Dahlgren added, “He leads by example. He lets his game do the talking.”
Life and baseball after Longview has not yet been decided for Egge, but schools lining up to vie for his services. Belmont-Abbey out of North Carolina, Bradley University in Illinois, and Texas-Pan American have all made contact with Egge about baseball next year. “Right now I’m just weighing out my options and trying to figure out what school is best for me.”
With approximately six home games remaining for the Lakers, Egge’s time at Longview is running short, but his legacy – and homerun record – may stick around for quite a while after he’s gone.