Baseball team gains relief, support from buddies


The baseball buddies vary from ages 12 years old and under. Flyers were sent to elementary schools such as Rylander, Fielder, Williams, Creech, Hayes, and other Cinco feeder schools for recruitments.

Madeline Brisson, Sports Editor

It is a simple game of catch. A young boy with a mitt and a teenager in his varsity jersey toss the ball around before the baseball game. Nothing compares to the wide eyed look the kid gives to his newfound hero. This year, the varsity baseball team has caught the eyes and admiration of a hopeful group of elementary school boys.
Each team member has partnered up with an elementary-aged aspiring baseball player to call their “Baseball Buddy”. This is a new athletic buddy system that, according to senior Eric Riegel, the boys would love to see expand into other sports.
“I feel like it brings us back to when we were younger and just learning baseball,” Riegel said. “It kind of brings out our inner kid and just reminds us what the game’s all about, and that’s having fun.”
The team spends their time with the kids teaching the basics of baseball, playing catch, fielding and running the bases with the buddies. On occasion, they will also have the kids accompany the team on the field for the national anthem before the game.
“I think having a buddy helps team building because it gives each of us motive to go out there and know that someone is looking up to us and we need to give it our all,” senior Joey Waid said.
According to senior Gabriel Sobarzo, the buddies are a good reminder of what first drew him into baseball.
“Oftentimes, athletics at our high school can become so competitive, we forget why we even signed up in the first place,” Sobarzo said. “The ear to ear smile on my buddy’s face when we play catch reminds me never to lose sight of how much fun baseball really can be.”
After coach Brett Wallace came to the team with the idea, the team immediately jumped at the opportunity.
“I definitely want to see it continue,” Waid said. “I think it helps us to know that someone is looking up to us and we need to be a role model for them, because at the end of each game, it wouldn’t be right if we couldn’t look into our little buddies’ eyes because we didn’t give it our all. It might be difficult to do this in other sports, but if it can be done, I think it would be beneficial and rewarding to each of the players.”
Baseball is a team-oriented sport, and because of this, the varsity players beluieve that it can teach the young boys a lot.
“Baseball definitely can teach you how to use teamwork and communication when you’re playing the game,” Riegel said.
The team feels that not only does the program help the young boys, they benefit as well.
“Having a buddy definitely brings out the best in each member of the team,” Sobarzo said. “We have to cooperate and work together in order to play games without buddies, and working towards a common goal like that only improves our team chemistry.”
The baseball team works hard to be good examples for the kids and exhibit good sportsmanship.
“I’m just looking forward to putting a smile on my buddy’s face,” Riegel said. “That’s what it’s all about to me. I just want him to know that baseball should be fun no matter what level you play it at, and show him that as long as you’re having fun nothing can go wrong.”