Bucyrus tennis coach John Supon is very fond of Macey Sheerer, just not fond enough to name her team captain last fall.
“I didn’t talk enough,” Sheerer said, laughing. “You have to talk a lot (to be a leader), and I’m not a fan of that.”
That’s OK. She scored a lot (in basketball), hit a lot (in softball) and won a lot (in tennis). Besides, Supon is more than willing to talk for her. Especially if it’s about her.
“Macey worked hard at her athletic career, but she worked doubly hard in her academic career,” Supon said of the scholar-athlete. “She has a lot of pride. Anything she does she wants to do to the best of her ability.
“I’d see here at school always working on school work whenever she had free time. She had to budget her time being a three-sport athlete. She made it look easy, but I know it was hard on her. She’s just a disciplined person.”
A perfect 4.0 student, Sheerer impressed even more folks in Crawford County and beyond with her scoring prowess on the basketball court.
The 5-foot-7 guard finished her career with 1,461 points, the most in school history by either a girl or boy. She averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.2 steals this past season, earning All-Ohio honors for the second year in a row.
Sheerer was named MVP of the inaugural North Central Ohio Girls All-Star Classic, scoring a game-high 25 points. She also was among 20 girls picked to compete in the Division III-IV state all-star game, in which she scored 11 points.
Supon, a veteran basketball official, worked the local all-star game, giving him a different perspective on his No. 1 tennis player.
“I appreciate her even more as an athlete when I was refereeing her game because I saw how she sees the games,” Supon said. “She anticipates so well on the floor, she sees her teammates, and she knows when she needs to score points or dish the ball off. Working that game was amazing because I got to see her upfront.”
It wasn’t a bad deal for Sheerer either.
“I called a foul on the other team and Macey went to the (free throw) line to shoot two,” Supon said. “Natalie Britt, the coach of the other team, said, ‘John, my girl didn’t even touch (Sheerer).’ I said, ‘Yeah, but the girl plays tennis for me. I thought I’d give her a couple.'”
Britt laughed it off.
Supon’s favorite story about Sheerer happened last fall at the North Central Conference Tournament, where she won No. 1 singles en route to a perfect regular season finish and a second straight trip to the district tournament.
Sheerer was playing a girl she already had beaten three times and was down 0-3 in the first set.
“Macey walked over to me (during the changeover) and looked a little bit bewildered,” Supon said. “I told her, ‘Macey, this girl thinks she can beat you, but you know you can beat her. You’ve done it three times. Look at her. She’s ready to go. Just stay over here and relax. We’ll talk and slow her down a little bit.’
“She said, ‘Coach, you know I can’t slow down.’ So I told her to do what she needs to do. She went out and won 12 straight games and won the match 6-3, 6-0.”
Sheerer played shortstop and hit over .400 this spring for Bucyrus, helping the team to its third straight conference title. But she believes tennis is her second-best sport.
“I like challenging myself,” she said. “I didn’t play before high school, so (tennis) was a new experience, a new sport.”
Supon said Sheerer was a fast learner because she’s so bright.
“I think (smarts) had a lot to do with her success because she’s basically only a tennis player during tennis season, and she’s playing kids who play year-round,” Supon said. “She’s very smart on the court. She uses her athletic ability to make opponents run. But she’s also very intelligent about when to come up to the net.
“There’s no doubt in my mind she’ll be an impact (basketball) player in college.”
Bluffton University women’s basketball coach and Bucyrus native Chad Shutler didn’t make all those trips home this past season just to see his parents. Those were recruiting trips — ultimately successful trips that led to Sheerer choosing Bluffton over Heidelberg and Ohio Wesleyan.
“It probably didn’t hurt,” Shutler said of his Bucyrus ties. “We spent a lot of time with her, and we tied a couple of (recruiting) trips into (visiting my family), but I don’t know if it helped her situation a whole lot. We had seen her the summer before, and she came over to one of our shootouts. I didn’t know the family outside of last year.”
Shutler graduated from Bucyrus in 1993, lettering in football, basketball and tennis for the Redmen. All news to Sheerer.
“I didn’t know him before this (school) year — so it’s really weird,” she said. “I got a couple of letters and phone calls (from Bluffton) last summer, so I went there to visit. They came to I don’t know how many games last season, and we were in contact a lot.
“I really like the coaches (assistant Bri Calver, a former Shelby star), the facilities are great and they have the major (sports management) I want.”
Beginning his 10th year at the helm, Shutler inherited a team coming off a 4-22 season. His squads have posted double-digit wins in five of the last seven seasons, including a 14-12 mark in 2013-14.
“Macey epitomizes what we look for in a student-athlete in terms of a balance between academics and athletics,” Shutler said. “We always stop short of saying anyone can come in and do what they want, but she’s a rare talent and definitely has the potential and ability to contribute to our program in her first year and, as she grows over the next four years, be an impact player and program-builder for us.”