Cove coach inducted into Henderson State Hall of Honor
By SEAN HANEY
One of the best power-hitters in Henderson State history is how Jeaniel Pati is being described.
Last week S.C Lee first-year teacher and coach Jeaniel Pati got the news that she was being inducted into her alma mater’s Hall of Honor.
Pati, who coaches volleyball, basketball, soccer and teaches 7th grade math inclusion, ended up in Texas as a military brat.
After graduating from Shoemaker High School in 2002, Pati went to Baylor University where she red shirted from 2002-2003, then attended Blinn Junior College from 2003-2005, finally ending up at Henderson State University from 2005-2007.
“The feeling is totally out of this world. I couldn’t really put it into words but I’m thanking God for using me!” Pati, said after digesting the great news about her Hall of Honor induction.
Pati said that some of her memorable moments from attending Henderson State University were being around her teammates.
“Being seven hours away from home really took a toll on me at times. I would travel almost every other weekend to come home and be with my family and to go to church until our fall and spring seasons would start,” Pati said. “Being with my teammates really took my mind off that. We would really enjoy the college atmosphere and really get involved with the community and attending school activities.”
While attending Henderson State University, Pati set numerous records without even realizing it.
As a two-time First Team All-Gulf South Conference catcher and a member of the GAC All-Tournament Team, Pati earned First Team NFCA All-South Region honors in 2007.
She set and still holds the Henderson single-season record for batting average by hitting .441 in 2007 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs. Pati finished her career with a .362 batting average, 24 home runs and 85 RBIs in just 99 career games. Her .695 career slugging percentage ranks second all-time at HSU and her 24 home runs rank fifth.
“I was in total shock,” Pati said of her reaction when she received the news last week about being inducted into Henderson State University Hall of Honor.
“I didn’t really keep up with my stats at the school. I was happy to have my degree from there. (I was the) first one in my family to graduate with a college degree. Now this! Never in a million years would I have thought to be even considered. These are things you hear about on TV, I didn’t think it could ever happen to me,” she said.
Pati talked about her decision to teach and coach in Copperas Cove.
“It’s a funny story. I had just quit working at Amazon and was tired of working so many jobs, so I went to watch my son play basketball and got a call from Andrea (Golden) to come and officiate a basketball game at S. C. Lee. We started talking and she had told me to come in for an interview for the P.E. Aide position. I got hired in January and was like, you know what, I like this.”
She said Coach Brown suggested she talk with Coach Cari Lowery, who is now the CCISD Athletic Director.
“I walked in and interviewed with Coach Lowery, and the rest is history. My mother for years told me to come and coach and I just didn’t think it was my thing. She saw it in me when I graduated in 2007,” Pati said. “I worked all types of jobs, prison guard, making trash bags, Walmart Distribution Center, Amazon Delivery Driver. Let’s just say I’m grateful to be in the position that I am in.”