In a special ceremony held in Rice Auditorium Monday afternoon, the Wayne State College baseball team held a draft day signing party and announced Jess Gibson of Wayne has signed a baseball draft day letter to become a Wildcat.
“We are extremely excited to have Jess be a part of our program,” said Wildcat head baseball coach Alex Koch (pronounced cook). “There is nothing Jess loves more than to be an active part of a sports team. I have seen the way he works around the local softball teams and we are excited that he will be bringing his positive attitude and energy to our baseball program. Jess is a great kid with a big heart and we couldn’t be more excited about having him as a Wildcat.”
The event was made possible through a partnership with Team Impact, a nationally-based non-profit organization that teams up children with chronic illnesses to be a part of a college team. The motto of Team Impact, founded in 2011, is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.
Jess Gibson is 16 years-old and lives in Wayne, Nebraska with his parents (Brian and Shannon), older siblings and his family’s foster son. At birth, Jess was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and periventricular leukomalacia, a form of brain damage. On top of that, Jess is legally blind and wheelchair bound.
Despite his medical journey, Jess does not let that stop him from being active in his community and attending as many sporting events as he can. Jess listed his lucky number to be number three, his favorite color to be blue and Superman as his favorite cartoon character. Jess is a huge sports fan and can’t wait to join his team out on the field and learn more about baseball from his teammates!
During the summer, Jess Gibson can be found in the dugout of the Wayne Dirt Devil softball teams serving as pitching coach for his older sisters, calling pitches during the game with the coaches.
The Wildcat baseball team plans to involve Gibson in numerous team activities both on and off the field and make him a part of their team. He will attend Wildcat games and practices as his schedule permits and will wear a Wayne State baseball jersey and be in the team dugout.