Every year, the Hebron Baseball Booster Club sponsors an essay writing competition between the senior baseball players. The essays are read and voted on by the underclass parents, and the winner receives a $1,000 Scholarship to help with college!
For the first time ever, we are posting our winning essay from Ethan Saenz. We hope to post the others in the very near future since these players put a lot of hard work into them.
The topic is:
How has baseball influenced my life
I started playing baseball when I was in first grade. We were still in our old house, and I remember how excited my mom and grandfather were to come watch me play. The three of us would go to Ranger games all the time, and that is when I knew that I wanted play baseball for the rest of my life.
That dream started to fade as I got older. Moving to the Frisco area when I was in third grade, I started looking around the field and noticing everyone was getting bigger and I wasn’t. I still had the edge because I knew the game better than most kids, and I realized that passion could still go a long way.
But coming into my freshman year, I was so excited to try out for the Hebron team. I did my best and even though Coach Stone told us that many would not make it, I still thought I would see my name on the list – it wasn’t there. I was devastated not to play, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to try again. So sophomore year…I tried it again, and got the same result. I knew then that this might the last time I picked up a bat.
Coach Stone must has sensed that I wasn’t ready to quit. He called me and asked me if I wanted to be the team manager. I wanted to say yes, but scared that the team wouldn’t accept me. What if they made fun of me, or made me just pick up their equipment and watch from afar? So I said no. Now I know that I just wasn’t mature enough to handle the responsibility.
Then, my junior year, Coach Stone called me out of the blue and asked if I still wanted to be a part of the team and wear the Hebron uniform? This would not be as a player, but as a manager. I decided to take the chance and say yes. It is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It was hard that first couple of weeks. I wasn’t playing, and I had to remember why I was there. I am not going to lie – I wasn’t always there for the team and for Coach Stone when they needed me. Coach Stone called me in and told me that I had one more chance to regain his trust, and to be a part of the program. I had a choice to make.
Coach Stone gave me one more chance to be with the team after I messed up. I took the chance and he showed me his plan. He showed me that laziness isn’t going to cut it and you actually have to work for something you want. He helped me to become a really good young man.
During the season I learned about what a team really is. It is chemistry, hard work, loyalty and dedication. The team my junior year treated me as a teammate, even though they were a grade ahead of me. They forgave me for my mistakes, and celebrated with me in our victories. I learned so much from that team.
And this year I was even stronger. I spent more time getting the team ready to play, and more time making myself a part of the team. My proudest moment was when Coach gave me the uniform for the games. It made me feel like I earned it. I knew that I was becoming the man that I could me.
This year’s team has been like a family to me. They showed me that teammates can count on each other and have each other’s backs. They have even taught me how to play poker. Although we didn’t win, we all grew as players, young men, and family members.
I am going to miss the long practices, riding the bus to away games, the feel of game day, and getting my name announced before the game. Looking back, I can’t believe I almost threw away that chance because I was afraid to work hard. But my love for baseball and the trust of Coach Stone brought the best out of me. I can never thank him and Hebron for what they have done for me.
Baseball has given me a place where I belong. To quote Coach Stone, I now have “19 more brothers”.
By Ethan Saenz, Senior 2017