Shumaker signs with National Champion Crusaders
By TJ MAXWELL
Copperas Cove senior linebacker Jack Shumaker put a cap on his high school career and laid the foundation for the rest of his life by signing a National Letter of Intent to play football for and attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. The signing was celebrated during a signing ceremony Tuesday at Copperas Cove High’s Lea Ledger Auditorium.
“It’s awesome,” Shumaker said of signing with UMHB. “It means a lot. UMHB has been one of the places I wanted to go since my sophomore year. I think being able to sign here is a completion of my football career here. When we lost to Longview, that was the end of the playing, but this is the completion of everything else.”
Shumaker’s speed played a role his signing with the 2018 Division III National Champion Crusaders.
“Coach Harmon, the defensive coordinator, said he likes me because I have some speed and that’s what they look for,” he said. “They run a 4-2-5 so they need a lot of quick guys.”
Copperas Cove athletic director and head football coach Jack Alvarez reflected on the relationship with his younger namesake during the ceremony.
“Jack knows he has a special place in my heart and he knows why,” said Alvarez. “We’ve had some tough conversations and some good conversations and it helped both of us. It helped me as a coach and I think it helped him mature as a young man. I really appreciate him trusting me and the staff.”
Alvarez also feels the younger Jack can write his own story from here.
“Jack is very smart, he’s athletic and I truly believe he can be anything he wants to be,” he said.
Shumaker credits the current and former coaching staffs for his development.
“I think I’ve been really well prepared,” said Shumaker. “The workouts are serious, and they told me when I go to college it won’t be much different than this.
“The Welches were great coaches, but I think coach Alvarez came in and really turned things around. He brought a new life to the program and I think it’s going to be good for the future.
“I think this year was important for me because it was the first year I really had to compete to play. That was good for me because obviously, in college you have to compete.”
Being just 40 minutes from home is awesome for Shumaker, but being at one of the most storied programs in the area doesn’t hurt either.
“The campus is amazing,” said Shumaker. “I visited two other schools before UMHB and there is a big difference in the facilities. You go from what looks like a high school to what looks like a legitimate contender in everything. The school is awesome. They have a good criminal justice program and a good nursing program.
“I was up there visiting, and they have this big case with all these rings going back to the early 2000s.”
Shumaker knows that the real work begins now.
“I’ve been working out, but I’m going to have to get going a little more,” he said. “Around May, UMHB will send out a workout program for the summer to get you ready for two-a-days.”