Growing Up in a Hurry

Fast forward through high school, we can rewind back to that at a later date. For now, just want to keep you interested by making sure you know this story doesn’t have a sad ending, actually it is quite the opposite.

Sure, I didn’t reach my goals throughout my playing career, but I have prepared myself for quite the jumpstart in the coaching field. I began coaching with the showcase team that I played for, the nationally renowned Evoshield Canes, and then I worked with Broughton High School, followed by a job offer at the school my playing career started at, NC State.

It was a wonderful season and a great experience. A varying amount of scenarios arrived that I was able to witness veterans of their profession handle them in quite the mature and professional manner, allowing myself to make personal notes in my head of how to handle rain delays, roster moves, recruiting and how to run practice.

The one thing that seems to always be a mystery is how to get players to understand the moment and their opportunities and how NOT to take things like that for granted.




The Greatest Game in the World

If you follow baseball closely, played it in little leagues, and love it so deeply as many of us do, then you probably understand the relationship between the game and the 108 stitches on each baseball the kids game is played with.

My deep infatuation with the game of baseball began at the end of my 9 year old season. My team had just won our local little league, and EVERYONE rejoiced and jumped around and went crazy and enjoyed the ensuing pizza party and Coca-Cola.

Everyone except me.

I sat in the corner of the dugout as upset and broken as I had ever been to that point in my life. The reason? There was no more baseball that season. No more games. No more practices. No more lessons. No more pizza parties. No more free sodas after the games. No more team. NO more teammates.

No more baseball.

I was finally old enough to realize, that with Winter, along came the cold, cold reality that there was no more baseball to be played.

That was the moment that I realized baseball was more than a game to me, and that proved true in the following 10 years that I was blessed to play the game. However, my career ended in a way that was far, far different than how it began.

Fast forward from the eager 9 year old to the 15 year old freshmen. New kid in town. Just moved from the city, down to the suburb to play for a hall of fame coach and a storied program.

The pressure was high. Expectations were high. And so was I.

Along with these pressures that freshmen season, and along with losing my grandfather, who I spent much of my childhood with, came a drug problem. And one that seemingly spiraled out of control. And in a hurry.

I’ll never forget the first time I smoked pot. All of my buddies said the same thing “man nobody gets high their first time, just try it”, so I did.