FELTON - Graduating from high school is a date most seniors look to with different emotions.
There are some that can't wait, there are some that would like to remain in high school and then there are some that have mixed emotions.
Lake Forest High School senior Joey Gumpman is one of those that is looking forward to moving on to the next chapter in his life, while knowing he will be ending a special four years as a Spartan.
Even though he has mixed emotions about leaving high school, Gumpman can be satisfied that he made the most of his four years at Lake Forest.
His 3.8 grade-point-average puts him in the top 10 percent of the class of 2012, which is outstanding due to being a member of both the Spartans' varsity football and baseball teams for four years.
Although he's looking forward to attending college, Gumpman isn't excited about taking the Lake Forest baseball uniform off for the last time.
"I know I will be feeling a little upset when our baseball season ends," he said. "However, I know I have had a great four years at Lake Forest and I've accomplished a lot both in class and in sports."
Despite the fact that his academic excellence made him a prime candidate to choose to attend another high school, Gumpman never thought about attending any place other than Lake Forest.
"I knew I didn't want to play high school baseball anywhere else because I wanted to play for coach (Corey) Wyatt," said the senior catcher, who also played Little League and travel baseball. "When I look back at my high school baseball career I know I will not have any regrets about choosing to attend Lake Forest."
Knowing the toughest position on a baseball team to play is as a catcher, Gumpman said he enjoyed the challenge.
"I like the action and I like being in control of things. Also, I'm a very outgoing person and that's one of things that a good catcher needs."
Wyatt, as well as his Spartans teammates, are happy Gumpman decided to play baseball at Lake.
"Joey has been our No. 3 hitter since his freshman season, (he's) a two-year team captain and is our team leader," said Wyatt about his All-Conference first team catcher. "Not only is he a great baseball player, he is also a very good student in the classroom."
Gumpman was sporting a .368 batting average with two homeruns and six RBI entering last week's games..
According to Wyatt, Gumpman entered his senior season with three-year .485 batting average, which is excellent, especially considering he's a catcher.
Gumpman will continue both his academic and athletic careers this fall at Salisbury University, where he will play baseball while majoring in business management and accounting.
"I decided on Salisbury because it has a nationally certified business program," said Gumpman. "However, if I wasn't going to play baseball at the college level, I likely would not have decided to go to Salisbury.
"I wanted to go to a school that had a good baseball program as well as the major I decided on and Salisbury is a school that is excellent in both."
Unlike high school where he didn't have any competition at the catching position, that will not be the case when he begins his career at Salisbury.
"Right now, there are two junior and one sophomore catchers on the roster," said Gumpman. "I will be the only catcher entering the program this fall, so I feel I will get some playing time. I also can play the outfield and, hopefully, I will get some time at one of those positions."
Wyatt has no doubt Gumpman will have an excellent college baseball career.
"Joey is a leader that can be counted on," he said. "I know he will fit in because he's built for college baseball. I know he will easily learn what it takes to be a college catcher because he really loves the game and knows what is needed to be a good catcher."
Unless the Spartans can turn around a slow start to the season, Gumpman's high school baseball career will close with a road game May 14 at Christiana, while his final home game will be May 10 against Smyrna.