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Rams Catcher Pushed Through Heartbreak

Cameron Massengill joined the Rams baseball team shortly after receiving the most heartbreaking news of his life. And while other families were gathering to celebrate on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, he was by his mother’s side as she succumbed to colon cancer.

  • Cameron was the starting catcher for the Rams during the 2014 season while Shari was undergoing cancer treatment for the s...
    Cameron was the starting catcher for the Rams during the 2014 season while Shari was undergoing cancer treatment for the second time in her life.
    Photo by Danny Meyer

“She loved him more than life,” Cameron’s father, Bo Massengill, said. “Her biggest fear wasn’t dying, it was never seeing Cameron again. That was the hardest and saddest thought she had. Everything that is good in Cameron came from Shari.”

“She loved him more than life.”

Bo Massengill

Cameron played his entire junior season with his mom battling cancer, but somehow remained focused and productive. A transfer from Cisco College, Cameron played his first season for the Rams in 2014. He had arrived in 2013 following shoulder surgery, which had set him back during fall practices. But after rehabbing the shoulder and regaining strength, he emerged as the starting catcher.

“His position is inherently the toughest to play every day, but he did a great job being tough back there and preparing himself to play at a high level throughout the season,” ASU head coach Kevin Brooks said. “He was incredibly steady and productive for us, despite everything that he had to go through. I know his mom would be really proud of how he responded and the person he is. His parents did a great job of raising him.”

Shari Massengill and son Cameron share a moment before a Rams baseball game.Shari Massengill and son Cameron share a moment before a Rams baseball game.Shari had previously battled breast cancer when Cameron was 6 months old. She was forced to have a mastectomy and then underwent six months of chemotherapy. She lived a cancer-free, joyful life for 20 years until the dreaded diagnosis in 2013. Once again she was forced to begin treatments, and as an adult, Cameron knew that she needed him and he also needed her.

“There were a lot of times when I wanted to quit school and baseball and move back home to be with her during that time,” said Cameron, who is Shari’s only child. “She wouldn’t let me do that, though. We talked on the phone every day and I tried to encourage her, but she was really encouraging me. She was so strong that it made it easier for me.”

Having completed his baseball eligibility, Cameron is finishing up his ASU degree and will do his student teaching this spring. His mother’s impact on his life will never fade and will guide every decision he makes. She influenced him to treat others with respect and kindness, and her final lesson was to never give up. 

  • Wes Bloomquist

    Wes Bloomquist

    Wes Bloomquist was the director of new media in the Athletic Communications Office at Angelo State University.
    E-mail Wes at wes.bloomquist@angelo.edu.