Baseball Prepares to Say Good-bye to Seniors

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Anytime a baseball season ends is a sad day. It is equally melancholy when we have to not only say good-bye to the end of a season, but we have to say farewell to the student-athletes making their final appearance on the diamond.

This week, the Cougars will face East Union High School (today at WRHS and Wednesday at EU), and both teams will try to put an end to a year which started with promise but quickly dissolved into a year of crushed hopes and dreams. The Cougars go into today’s contest 9-15 overall and 1-9 in VOL play. East Union shares the same record as the Cougars, both overall and in the VOL. While both teams struggled to earn wins, both sides recognize that the upcoming games are still relevant.

“We’re pretty similar record-wise,” head coach David Hager reflected from his palatial baseball office. “Both of us have had some pretty close games with the same opponents, but neither of us could get that big hit when we needed it.”

It’s tough to motivate players at the end of the season, primarily when the game’s outcomes merely signify a win or a loss. Playing out the final two games on the surface only mean the season ends. However, coach Hager has been proud of this team from the first day and the last day seems to be no different.

“Yeah, it’s been a tough year. We always go into each season hoping to win enough to make playoffs and continue the season,” said Hager. “We have great kids here at Weston Ranch, and I’m going to miss this year’s crop of seniors a lot.”

A big win over Oakdale early in the year gave the Cougars hope, but in the end, the VOL just had too many obstacles to overcome. Pitching depth was the biggest issue for the Cougars as they struggled to overcome the loss of last year’s VOL MVP Rylan Tinsley.

“Obviously, losing a player like Rylan was going to create a big hole to fill,” Hager reflected. “But, you know, we battled every pitch and every inning. Sometimes success is more than just winning. I’m extremely proud of this program and this team regardless of our record.”

This year, the Cougars will see the departure of 10 seniors, all of whom will be remembered fondly by Hager and his coaching staff. Measuring success for this group should focus mainly on their post-high school plans and their aspirations. From going on to college to pursue a degree and continue to play, to becoming police officers, and becoming Marines, Hager should be proud of the young men who chose to wear the Cougar baseball jersey.

Today’s game is at WRHS and begins at 4 pm. Come on out to our field and help us celebrate Alvin Wilkerson, Javier Jauregui, Anthony Faulk, Ja’Darius Encalade, Carlos Souza, Isaac Espino, Anthony Aguilar, Austin Cappas, Amier Bowen, and Carlos Drain. We don’t say, “good-bye,” we say, “thank you.”