University of the Fraser Valley baseball star Riley Jepson is heading to the Lone Star State this fall, committing to the NCAA Div-II University of Texas at Tyler.
The Cascades slugger put pen to paper last Thursday and will head to Texas in September, after he wraps up his spring season at UFV and a summer stint with the Western Canadian Baseball League’s Lethbridge Bulls.
“It was surreal, an amazing feeling that first brought relief that i had achieved one of my goals,” Jepson said. “I have been working with a network of American baseball coaches for an opportunity to play NCAA baseball. I wanted to play with another winning organization like UFV and playing baseball for the Patriots while attending school in Tyler will be a thrill.”
Until this year, Texas at Tyler was a Div-III program. Jumping up to Div-II, the Patriots are currently in the midst of their first season in the Lone Star Conference, facing the likes of Angelo State, West Texas A&M, Texas A&M Kingsville, Cameron, UT Permian Basin, Tarleton State and Eastern New Mexico.
Jepson, a Kamloops native who has terrorized pitchers in the Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference, will find the competition tougher in the NCAA ranks, but he feels ready for the next step.
“My UFV coaches each have unique skills and abilities and all have been very supportive,” he said. “Having the chance to play every day at UFV has benefited me as a player.”