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Savoring It

Savoring It

by Mark Jent

Monday started Zach’s end of season double elimination tournament. They won Monday, lost Wednesday sending them to the loser’s bracket, and won last night. Tonight they play in another elimination game. As the #4 seed, we don’t have grandiose expectations that they will win it all, but we just don’t want it to end.

While watching him this week, I’ve tried to savor every inning and every at bat. He has improved so much this year – a couple of big hits, made some great catches in the outfield, has pitched a few innings. Despite growth we have seen in him ourselves, baseball is a game of failure, yet at 11 years old that is hard to reconcile when you’re not a top tier player on your team. Usually out of frustration after a tough loss, he has often said that this will be his last year to play baseball. Even though Beth and I thoroughly enjoy supporting him, getting him to practices/games and absolutely love the community we are surrounded by with the other families on the team, we don’t want to force him to play next year if it’s not what he chooses to do. (He has plenty of interest in other sports and activities.) We didn’t sign him up for Crieve Hall Baseball expecting that we are raising a 2031 MLB Draft Pick, but Beth and I enjoy watching him compete, learn, encourage and pick himself up after a hard game.

Therefore that’s made this season, and especially this week, that much more special as we try to be fully present and engaged in watching our boy play. He has a best friend on the team (Jack, left, pictured above), coaches who care about him more as a young man than just what he does at the plate, and a dozen teammates who are encouraging and supportive of each other.

No matter the outcome of the Crieve Hall 12u Dodgers season this week and no matter Zach’s future in the game, my hope is that whenever he does walk away from the game, he will do so with lessons learned on the diamond, friendships forged in the dugout and memories made over many years that will far surpass his final out.

Towards the end of the game last night I walked behind the left field fence to capture this picture of him (featured story image) as their team finished off a 11-1 victory. After I took some pictures, I eventually put my phone down to just stand there for a few minutes to enjoy, to reflect and to savor the moment.

Another Zach Story
Here is a story from May 2021 that I wrote about him:  Zach Slides Into Home

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