Last year Shawn Jablecki had to do the hardest thing for any athlete to do: watch.
With an arm injury that kept him out of action, Jablecki enjoyed but did not participate in a fantastic run by the Clippers that saw them just sneak into the tournament and then go on a run all the way to the regional finals. This year he’s hoping to help the Clippers do the same thing, as FHS entered the last week of the regular season on the cusp of qualifying, but with work to do.
The son of Kaylene and Steve Jablecki has been a two-sport athlete, also playing with the basketball program. He said that he found a love for art as a sophomore and is now an AP student in that subject. His most-prized possession is his truck, something he’s put a lot of work into to make nice.
Shawn said that he’s watched too many movies to pick just one as a favorite. His favorite TV show was an easy pick, though. He said it’s “Game of Thrones,” which he’s watched all the way through three times. Shawn’s favorite meal is his dad’s steak on the grill with mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, Gatorade Glacier Freeze, and Somerset Creamery Coffee Oreo ice cream in a waffle cone for dessert.
How did you get involved with baseball? How much do you enjoy it?
I started playing baseball when I was very young, at 4 years old, and it was just a sport that I wanted to try, or that my parents wanted me to play for that matter. I started in T-ball and Little League just like everyone else, then I started playing AAU and playing multiple seasons out of the year. I love this sport because for as long as I can remember, being on the baseball field has been my happy place, and it feels like an escape from everything for me.
You had to miss all of last season with an arm injury. How did you get hurt, and how difficult was it to have to be on the sidelines for the whole year?
In the fall of 2017, I was pitching in a game and I threw a curve ball and heard a pop in my elbow, and I knew something wasn’t right because I couldn’t reach the plate with my next couple pitches. I had to get what is known as Tommy John surgery. It is a surgery that is the reconstruction of your UCL tendon in your elbow. This is a surgery that pitchers have to get because of overuse of pitching or pitching the wrong way.
This was one of the hardest things for me because it wasn’t completely torn but it was 75 percent torn. This meant that when I went to the doctor, he told me that I could play, but my arm strength would be only somewhere around 60 percent. I had to make the decision to get the surgery or not be able to play at my full potential. To me, if I wasn’t able to play at my highest ability, then what’s the point. I got the surgery, and sitting out was one of the hardest things I had to do in my life, but I did it because I knew where I was gonna be this year.
Now that you’re back you’ve fit right back into the heart of the Falmouth batting order and have been starting in the outfield, and occasionally pitching. Did it take long to feel comfortable, game in and game out? Do you feel like you’re back to where you were?
I have been around this game my entire life. Yeah sure, I wasn’t playing in a game at full strength for over a year and a half, but I jumped right back in there like I haven’t missed a minute. I had been looking forward to this season, since the second that I had heard that I needed surgery, and this season is what kept pushing me to come back stronger.
This season has had its share of ups and downs. What will it take for you to consider your senior year a successful one?
We have not played to our full potential yet this season, and that is very frustrating. We saw a sign of where we should be in our game against D-Y last week. That was our best game that we have played this season because we played as a team. For this year to be considered a successful season, I want to make the playoffs, which now I believe is very possible, and I want to make a run like we did last year. The team that we have is very capable of doing what we did last year, if not more.
You also played a reserve role with the basketball team. How was your final year on the court?
I definitely wish that I played more this year, but with basketball it is a very hard sport to take time off and come back to where I should be. I was just happy to be on the team and get back in shape for baseball this season.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
It would be the finals game last year for baseball, because if I was healthy, I think that I could have been a big help to the team. I also have never played in a game with that much hype around it, because we went further than any other Falmouth baseball team in a very long time. It was just a great atmosphere.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
I think the highlight of my athletic career so far was making it to the south finals last year. I was injured for most of the season, and being able to come back as DH for a couple of games showed how hard I worked to come back, and I was very proud of that.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
It’s hard to just choose the best teammate because I have had so many, but a couple who stand out to me are Duke Melton and Colby Davis. I have played basketball with Duke for as long as I can remember and I play a lot of pickup in the off-season with him. Colby Davis has been my baseball teammate forever. We played Little League together and have been on the same teams ever since. He is a great teammate, friend and leader.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
When playing a good week I like to keep my uniform dirty because I like to keep the “good Juju” in it. I also have the same routine every time I step up to the plate.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The most important thing I have learned from playing sports is that not everything is given, and you can lose everything in the blink of an eye, and you have to work to come back, but in the end it all pans out for you, if you work as hard as you possibly can.
Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration has been my parents. After I got hurt I was down in the dumps, but they were the ones who pushed me to get back to where I wanted to be, and when I was feeling down, they were the ones that kept reminding me of how much baseball meant and how I could come back stronger than ever.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank all of the people that have helped me get back to where I am and who have gotten me to where I am today. This includes my parents as well as my Grandpa Andrews, because he has come to almost all of my games for the past six years and has been one of my biggest fans.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
The most interesting place that I have ever visited is Lake Tahoe, California. I was born there, but we moved to Cape Cod when I was 3 months old. In 2016, I got to visit as as a teenager and it was cool to see where I was born. I also visited Oahu, Hawaii, that year and am visiting Maui and Kauai this summer.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
I have a beard now and a new ligament in my arm. It’s been a long run and a lot has changed. I would tell myself to throw properly a lot earlier. I would also tell myself to cherish every moment because it goes by a lot faster than I thought.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I am a redhead, but I tan. Yeah, I know, weird, right?!
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
There are many people that I would like to switch places with, but one is Duke Melton. Maybe I could finally understand why he thinks that he is all that.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
The perfect day for me would be going out on the boat and then chilling on the beach, then going home for a barbecue with some Somerset for dessert.
What are your post high school plans?
I hope to become a firefighter. I am starting by taking the EMT course in the fall, and working with hopes of becoming a firefighter in the next couple years.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
I hope to have a steady job as a firefighter/paramedic. If I don’t end up following the path I think I’m going to, I want to have figured it out by then. In 10 years, I hope to have a home, be married, and be on my way to starting a family, if I haven’t already.