LSU signee John Pearson of West Monroe is proud to be a Swiftee

by Jimmy Watson //

One glance at West Monroe’s John Pearson makes it hard to believe the 6-foot, 220-pound slugger is a Swiftee.

The LSU baseball signee keeps his admiration for Taylor Swift close to the vest. Or at least he did until now. 

“I’ve listened to her since I was like 10 and I went to see her in concert when I was younger,” said Pearson, one of the stars on a star-studded West Monroe team that was 25-7 overall and 9-1 in District 2-5A heading into this past weekend. “I’m a big Swift fan.”

“Bad Blood,” a song believed to be about Katy Perry, is his favorite Taylor Swift song and he thinks “it’s pretty cool” that she’s dating Travis Kelce. 

It’s also cool that Pearson is the caboose of a long line of superior West Monroe athletes. Sisters Ashley and Paige played softball through their Lady Rebel days and brothers Jake and Josh did the same on the baseball side. Josh in currently is paving the way for his younger brother as an LSU infielder, while Jake retired from competing in the MLB minor leagues this year. 

Needless to say, whiffle ball contests around the Pearson household carry more than just a little heat.

“Growing up with older siblings to look up to has had a huge impact on me,” Pearson said. “It’s been very significant for me growing up. I’ve been playing some sort of sport since I can remember.”

The Rebels are loaded for bear and are seeking a repeat of their 2022 state championship run when they topped Natchitoches Central (5-0), Comeaux (2-0), Sam Houston (2-0), Dutchtown (6-5) and St. Amant (9-6) to capture the Class 5A crown.

In addition to Pearson, coach Wade Simoneaux’s roster includes Ole Miss signee Hayden Federico, Louisiana Tech signee Trey Hawsey and ULM signees Isaiah Shivers and Brennan Eager. Underclassmen include Tech commitment Drew Ferguson and LSU verbal Bradyn Dupit.

But it usually takes more than just talent to win a title.

“We definitely have to play every game like it’s our last,” said Pearson, who has an unnatural fear of spiders. “If we play that way, we will be one of the best high school teams I’ve ever seen.”

Pearson had a few offers in addition to LSU’s, but once the Tigers came calling, he didn’t pursue others.

“The coaching staff was just awesome, fans there are outstanding, and it’s always been my dream school as a kid growing up,” he said. “I knew that when I got the LSU offer I was going there.”

While he has had plenty of athletic celebrities in his own house, his brush with celebrity came several years ago when he met Albert Pujols.

“I didn’t take much away from it because I was young and just stunned that I was meeting him,” Pearson said.  

He has, however, taken a lot from his education at West Monroe that should served him well at LSU. He attributes his academic success to a trio of teachers — Jennifer Eason, Tammy Rodgers and Jamie Garvin

“They’ve always helped me when I needed it and never hesitated,” Pearson said. 

Which isn’t something he can say about Taylor Swift.

John Pearson file

Favorite subject in school: “It’s not a real subject, but I’m gonna say PE.”

Favorite movie: “American Sniper” 

Favorite food: “Steak. I love some steak.”

Historical person he’d like to dine with: “I’d love to meet Jesus just to learn more about him and ask him questions.”

Favorite college or pro athlete: Mike trout 

Toughest opponent he’s gone up against: Barbe

Favorite article of clothing: “My Do Damage shirts”

The habit he’d most like to break: “Biting my nails.”

What’s the go-to app on your phone: Monopoly Go

Favorite sport to watch on TV: Baseball

Jimmy Watson covers Louisiana sports for the USA TODAY Network. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.comand follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.