So far, I cannot tell if this is a mental or physical quarantine.

It is feeling a lot more mental for me as the days go on, because these are supposed to be some of the best school days of my life. As I am writing this, I would be at school, but to be honest, I would not be thinking about school at all.

Today would have been Opening Day for Red Hawk baseball, my last opening day. All my life I wanted to represent my hometown through doing what I love most, playing baseball.

Everything was coming together to be a perfect season. We renovated the field from money we fundraised, and worked on it ourselves even so we could finally have a respected field to play on, and man does it look nice.

We got new uniforms this year also from fundraising, and I think those are the only things in the world that look nicer than our field. And of course the weather today is absolutely beautiful, the nicest for an Opening Day throughout all four years of my high school career.

Last season, the Red Hawks had their best in program history, winning a regional title against Arrowhead, who had been to state the last four years.

We also were nine outs away from a state tournament appearance, what would have been the first in program history. We were returning every player but three this year, and adding some good underclassmen as well.

After our loss in the sectional final last year, myself and some others came to a realization that it could be real, a state championship could be within our grasp. We also knew that there was only one way to win in spring, and that was by winning in Winter.

We changed everything about our open gym workouts, which are optional player run workouts in the winter.

They used to be more of a laid back time for people to stay fresh, and turned it into a time where you HAD to improve on something, no matter how little. We even added conditioning workouts, and had to rush after to shower in the school to get to class on time. We had never been more ready for a season than this year, myself included.

I could count the number of open gyms I had missed on one hand, whereas I had a laundry list of things I had sacrificed to be at them. I was training for baseball seven days a week through four different organizations, and was totaling 20 hours a week of baseball related work.

I even quit football my senior year to run cross country to be in better shape for baseball. So many of my friends played football, and it hurt to watch them do so good after all my high school career we had lost more than won, but I knew this was for the betterment of our baseball team.

I can confidently say I have never invested more of myself into anything in my life, and the proudest thing I can call myself is a member of the Milton Red Hawk Baseball team.

The amount of time our team spent together during the season and offseason working on baseball was immeasurable, but yet we still spent more time together away from baseball.

Out of every single one of my best friends, there is not a single one I didn’t play baseball with sometime. We couldn’t look forward enough to this season, to be honest I was looking forward to this season more than graduation. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to spend as many hours with my brothers as I could.

We would always say ‘man, I just can’t wait for baseball to start’, because we knew how much fun and how many memories were going to be made. We all stay in touch, and continue to train and hope and pray for the season.

After all, hope is all we have got now.

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