The recent HIES graduate signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at East Tennessee State July 17 after making a verbal commitment to the Johnson City, Tenn., school June 6.
“I’m ready for my next step in life — to play baseball in college,” Jokerst said. “I’m really excited about it.
“East Tennessee State seemed like the perfect fit for me. East Tennessee State is in the mountains and I love the mountains. They have a wonderful baseball program as well as wonderful coaches. They have everything I look for in a program. I like the coaches’ philosophy and how they use the Golden Rule with their team.
“They’re very concerned about what the players expect of them and academics are very important to them. They want me to have the best college experience, as well as play baseball, I can have and that really did it for me.”
Jokerst will be joining an East Tennessee State team that won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament and qualified for the NCAA Regionals this spring.
For Jokerst, developing himself physically will be the top priority during the offseason.
“I can always be working on arm strength and as well, I’m going to be trying to gain as much weight as possible in muscle mass,” he said.
Jokerst ended his high school career at Holy Innocents’ on a strong note.
He hit .313, while leading the team in RBIs with 31, posting a .451 on base percentage as well as 14 stolen bases to help lead the Golden Bears to the second round of the Class A private school state playoffs in his senior season.
“All our coaches there were just great and brought us all together as a team,” Jokerst said. “I think it was the best season I had as a team in my whole four years in high school.”
Holy Innocents’ coach D.C. Aiken said he knew that Jokerst would make it to the college level.
“Sam had a goal and knew what it would take,” Aiken said. “He worked harder than anybody and he deserves everything he’s gotten.”
Jokerst reports to East Tennessee State Aug. 15 and will participate in unofficial workouts with his new team throughout the fall and winter before staring his freshman season next spring.
Jokerst said he wants to make an impact for the Bucs immediately.
“My goal for freshman year is I want to be a starter my freshman year — that’s my main goal,” Jokerst said. “I want to be a starter in the outfield, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to reach that goal.”