Purcellville, VA (July 7, 2016) – Loudoun Valley graduate Justin Ager to has commit to play baseball for Yale University beginning the 2016/2017 academic school year.
“I committed to Yale just before Christmas 2014. It was the best Christmas gift ever, said Ager! Upon committing, I felt a mixture of relief and pure joy. I had been in the midst of a hectic recruiting process, so I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders once I made my decision, as well as elation that I have an opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the world and play the sport I love.”
Founded in 1701, Yale University consists of three major components: Yale College, the four-year undergraduate school; the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; and thirteen professional schools including the nations #1 ranked Law School, and highly ranked School of Management (#8), School of Medicine (#8), School of Art (#1) and School of Nursing (#18). The School of Drama, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Divinity School are also well-regarded graduate programs. While Yale is located in historic New Haven, Connecticut, a port city about 120 kilometers northeast of New York City, the University’s engagement goes beyond the United States dating from the earliest years of the nineteenth century, when faculty members first pursued study and research abroad. Today, Yale has become a truly global university – educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge not simply for the United States, but for the entire world. Yale has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,477, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 343 acres. Yale University’s ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges National Universities is #3.
“My recruiting process was enjoyable but definitely time consuming and at times, very hectic. It started early for me as I wanted certain target schools to know of my interest early on. Summer after my sophomore year is when I started hearing from schools that saw me pitch on the summer circuit. The scholarship offers starting coming in during that fall after I had a big jump in my pitching velocity and performed well in front of dozens of schools in Florida in October. I played on a great travel team, full of D1 commits, and I’m thankful for the exposure that experience provided. I knew what I was looking for in a school, had visited several, got to know many coaches, and developed an understand of where I would fit in well. So when Yale offered, I committed right away. The process was like a job for me, but all of the advance work allowed me to make an early decision, and one I know is right for me. Of course, the academic requirements (grades, AP classes, SAT scores) that were required were an added stress to my commitment.”
“Yale had everything I was looking for in a school and then some, said Ager. It is one of the best schools in the world academically, which was a top priority for me, and it has Division I baseball team. Also, the head baseball coach is a former major league pitcher which is a huge bonus for me since I’m also a pitcher.”
Ager’s head baseball coach will be John Stuper, who also serves as the pitching coach. The 2017 season will be John Stuper’s 25th season as the head coach of baseball at Yale. With an overall career record of 439-514-3 (219-245 in Ivy League play) in the Bulldogs’ dugout, Stuper surpassed the legendary Ethan Allen in 2009 as the winningest coach in the 150-year history of Yale baseball. Stuper reached the 100-win mark faster than any coach in program history and oversaw the best four-year period (104-68) in program history from 1993-96. Through 2013, Stuper has seen 34 of his players sign professional contracts during his tenure at Yale.
Stuper pitched in the major leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds from 1982-85, appearing in a total of 111 games. His most memorable performance came with the Cardinals in the sixth game of the 1982 World Series. With St. Louis trailing the Milwaukee Brewers, three games to two in the best-of-seven series, the right-hander helped the Cardinals even the series with a 13-1 complete-game, four-hit victory. St. Louis went on to win the Series the following day. Sports Illustrated listed his World Series performance among the 10 best by a rookie pitcher in the history of postseason play.
“I expect to have an extremely busy schedule my first year, said Ager. I will have to balance a demanding baseball and training schedule with the academic rigor of an Ivy League school. I also look forward to meeting new people and making new friends with a lot of great, driven people. I’ve very excited for it to begin.”
Ager, the 2016 VHSL Group 4A All-Region second team pitcher and the 2-time Viva Loudoun All-Loudoun Baseball Team selection has played baseball for as long as he can remember, starting out with T-ball at the age of four, which progressed into coach pitch at six, and finally ‘kid pitch’ at eight. When asked about some of his fondest baseball memories during that tenure, Ager shared, “I have been very fortunate in my high school career. My sophomore year we were VA 3A state champions, and when I was a junior we were state runner-ups. Personally, I will always remember throwing 2 no-hitters during my junior year and being recognized as 1st Team All Conference and 2nd Team All Region. Playing for Coach Wayne Todd has been a blast these last few years. I have also developed some of my closest friendships during high school baseball. I am very thankful to have had such success and to have met so many great people during that time.”
“I am very thankful for my parents’ willingness to support my dream of playing Division I college baseball, shared Ager. They traveled with me all over the country to take me to showcases, tournaments, and camps. I thank them very often for the time they have devoted to me and my pursuit of this dream. I am also very thankful to my pitching coaches at R&D Baseball, Rob Riley and Daniel Olds, who have trained and educated me in the art of pitching. Another person who has had a great impact on my improvement is Josh Champney at Fitness Together. I am very thankful to him for the amazing results I experienced after only a year of working out with him. One last person that I must mention is my head baseball coach at Loudoun Valley, Coach Wayne Todd. He has taught me much in the ways of leadership and pitching, leading our team to such success in the past few years.”
Asked what advice he’d give others pursuing their dreams, Justin shared, “The biggest thing a person must maintain in pursuit of a dream is discipline. I have had countless times when I simply just wanted to stay home and relax as opposed to working out and improving, and every time I pushed through that desire and got done what I needed to get done, and every time I was glad I did so.”
Please join us in wishing Justin Ager the very best on the baseball diamond and in the classroom as he pursues a degree in Economics and Finance at Yale University.