The Last Go-Around

By Jeremy McDonald

TURNER, Ore.–  For the Seniors coming from Cascade, Stayton and Regis, the second wind of life they’re getting entering next weekend in Boise, Idaho is closure to a tough Spring and a tough way to end their High School careers.

The amount of games are uncertain at this time with at least two guaranteed tournaments in Idaho ahead of them in the next month, but they are appreciative knowing they are finding some closure to their Prep Careers with a few games this summer.

“It was a struggle.  It seemed like we were getting prepared and then all of this stuff started coming in, all of this Covid stuff.  It’s kind of sad, but now that we’re getting baseball back, it feels a lot better,” said the Cougars TJ Marquez.

Wednesday was the third practice of the year for the Stayton Bandits with one or two more sessions left before they head to Boise the second half of next week.  The kids were joking around as they were getting some quality hacks to loosen up ahead of the first tournament of the year.

Regis’ Jackson Nees, Bryce Campbell and Joe Alley, Cascade’s  TJ Marquez, Colton Gumc and Tommy McGuire and Stayton’s Jared Mitchell all enter one last summer of baseball following their final Spring in High School was canceled a few weeks ago (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For the Rams Jackson Nees, the Senior knows the few games he’ll be getting in will be quality and will help him when he heads to Shasta College this upcoming season.

“Just getting the experience against better pitchers.  The pitchers I’ll face in college will be better than in High School, so I’ll just get that good opportunity to get more experience out of it,” said Nees.  “It’s just excited for me to play.  Come out here and play with my friends, just play with a bunch of people I’ve played with for a long time.”

A good chunk of this season’s squad had played together last summer when Stayton played in American Legion last season.  The butterflies are there, but so is their need to stay focused for the short time they are together this summer.

“Just got to stay focused on it.  I’m pretty excited for it…just that baseball is back.  We get back for maybe a couple of tournaments and I just got to soak it in whenever I can,” said Marquez.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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