A fourth baseball player from the 2020 Tipton-Rosemark Academy class will be playing at the next level.

Last Thursday Jonah VanKampen made a commitment to play at Jackson State Community College.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play in college for a long time,” VanKampen said. “I always thought if I put the work in I would be rewarded.”


When COVID-19 wiped out most of his senior season, he said that dream began to “drift away.”

“But finally,” he said, “it became a reality.”

VanKampen transferred from Christian Brothers High School to TRA before his junior yard and made an immediate impact.

He was 4-1 with a 2.84 earned run average and hit .273 with 28 RBIs during his junior season.

VanKampen moved to shortstop and also pitched during his shortened 2020 season.

“I can see him being a baseball coach in the future,” said Brad Smith, his coach at TRA last season. “He’s a student of the game, just smart, knows where to be at all times. On top of that, he is talented.”

He was also the backup catcher and could play anywhere on the infield.

VanKampen projects as an infielder at JSCC, but could also pitch.

“I could put him the outfield if I wanted to,” Smith said. “He’s just a ballplayer. He can play different positions and play them well … What wins baseball games is production and that’s what he does, produce.

VanKampen will join former TRA teammate Ethan Petrowski at JSCC.

The two other Class of 2020 TRA players who have already committed are Jacob Dodson to Southwest Tennessee Community College and Tyler Byrd to Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland