Rounding the Bases

Three seniors round out their final season of high school baseball together

Sam Hoops, Staff Writer

Being thrown into an unexpected situation and being forced to thrive can be difficult, but it can also pay off greatly in the end. This was the case for seniors Ryan Mendez, Mark Geiger, and Tommy Roland who made the JV baseball team as freshmen. All three started together on JV and have leveled up together, all three finishing their career on varsity. 

“I had fun playing with Ryan and Geiger, but it was kind of weird playing with older dudes coming right into high school. It was a good experience though; I liked it,” Roland said.

 Each has been playing baseball since they were young, with Mendez starting at age three and Geiger and Roland starting at age four. 

Even with all this experience, they still didn’t know what to expect going into high school baseball.

“The JV team is usually made up of quite a few sophomores, a couple of juniors, and usually only a couple freshman,” Geiger said. “It was a big deal when three freshmen made it in one season.” 

As a minority class on the team, being placed on the next rung up the ladder can be a challenging opportunity for the start of one’s high school baseball career.

“It just made me a better player since I was playing up a level. You can’t make mistakes, otherwise, they’re going to come back and get you,” Roland said.

The three only played JV for one season, because in 2018 all three earned spots on varsity. Once again, they were the three youngest on the varsity team.

“That freshman year, we stuck together because we were the only freshmen on the team, and throughout the course of the next three years we’ve definitely had a closer bond, and it definitely helps that we’ve played together all four years so far,” Mendez said.

The three players are looking forward to having the opportunity to pass on what they know to the sophomores and the juniors on the team.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot. Just trying to give them what I can, just in terms of how to play and how to lead, and really help them in the next stage of their career. I’m excited to do that,” Mendez said.

This year especially, the ability to be leaders is prevalent. Having been on the team for as long as they have, they have a lot of opportunities to lead the sophomores and juniors.

“They’ve been around for three years, so they kind of know our system. They know how it works, and they’re able to show the younger guys. They know how we do stuff in the weight room and how to practice, and how to lead by example,” Coach Dave Cork said. 

They have plans to play through college as well, with Mendez and Roland signing on to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Southeast Community College, respectively. Geiger is also planning on playing in college but is currently undecided.

Mendez, Geiger, and Roland are going in with high hopes for a great season to close out their high school careers, and are excited to pass the reins down to the next class of players.