Jake Howeth, a senior center fielder on the Texas Wesleyan baseball team, has a chance
to go pro after he graduates this spring.
That’s ironic, because the 22-year-old Abilene native he was planning on playing football
Howeth has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember, but after graduation
from Dallas’ Highland Park High School he was offered a scholarship to play football at
Northwest Missouri State University, where his brother Jeff was a safety.
“I had originally committed to play football there because they had just won a Division II
national championship and my brother played there,” said Howeth. “But their head coach had
just recently passed away, and after talking to my brother, who was planning on leaving the
program, I decided not to play football.”
It took Howeth a while to get released from his football scholarship, so he couldn’t talk
with teams about playing college baseball.
He was playing in a Dallas-Fort Worth all-star game when current Wesleyan head
baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat found out he was undecided, liked what he saw, and offered him a
scholarship to play baseball.
Howeth has been a four-year starter playing center field. He currently has a .308 batting
average and leads the team in home runs.
“Jake has gotten better each year he’s been here.” Jeffcoat said. “Pro scouts have shown
interest this year, and we’re expecting big things out of him this year.”
A year ago Howeth led the team in batting average (.411), hits (69), home runs (six),
RBIs (39) and stolen bases (11). He also had a .643 slugging percentage, a .471 on-base
percentage and only had two errors in 50 games.
Jeffcoat said Howeth leads the Rams by example now, just as he led his baseball and
football teams at Highland Park. He was a quarterback and a safety on the football team and a
center fielder on the baseball team, and his coaches loved his work ethic and leadership abilities
both on and off the field.
“Very early on, we knew that Jake could be a very good baseball player, but in his mind
he was a football player playing baseball,” Highland Park baseball coach Travis Yoder said. “His
work ethic was second to none, and he really set the groundwork for our younger kids to look up
and strive for.”
On the baseball diamond, Howeth was phenomenal, earning first team all-district his
junior season, and also earning multiple honors his senior season, including third team all-state,
from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, first team all-state from the Texas
Sports Writers association, and second team all-area.
If he’s chosen in the MLB Draft in June, or signs on as a free agent after a tryout, Howeth
said he would love to play for the home town team.
“Beggars can’t be choosers.” Howeth said. “But I think it would be pretty awesome to get
drafted by the Rangers, or the Yankees.”
Howeth said he tries to play the game similar to how outfielder Mike Trout of the Los
Angeles Angels plays, because he likes how level-headed he is.
“He never acts like he’s bigger than the game,” Howeth said. “He plays the game the way
it’s supposed to be played.”
Howeth thinks the Rams have the talent to go all the way to the NAIA Baseball World
Series in May.
“I think we have the pitching, hitting, and depth to go all the way to Lewiston, Idaho this
year.” Howeth said. “We were one out away from going to the World Series my sophomore year
and I think we have the team this year to make a run at this thing.”