Friday, April 21, 2017

Field of Dreams Experience for MWHS White Hawk Baseball

Today's post is from senior captain Hunter Ellis

As my time as a Mound Westonka baseball player winds down, I have begun to reflect upon my fondest baseball experiences. In my three years on the varsity team I’ve collected memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. These memories include the privilege of playing the greatest game on earth in the beautiful, yet unpredictable Minnesota spring. Another cherished memory has been the friendships built by the sport. Colorful conversation between teammates constantly echoes throughout the bus rides and in the dugout. Perhaps the most recent memory that I have is playing Wright County Conference opponent Rockford at the newly opened U.S Bank Stadium.

There is a certain buzz that surrounds our team whenever we have a great opportunity ahead of us. Whether it’s the anticipation to see which team we will face in an upcoming section playoff game, or the childlike giddiness that fuels our passion before a crucial inning, our team has passion. That passion was amplified as the entire team was ecstatic for the chance to play at the massive downtown sports cathedral on Wednesday. Each and every one of us made sure that our uniforms were extra clean, and that our cleats had an extra shine the night before. Each and every one of us carried excitement, and had an extra hop in our step throughout the afternoon and into the late evening.

The game couldn’t have gone much better for the White Hawks. A 14-1 win in five rapid innings. The victory was a complete team effort. The pitching was nearly perfect. The offense knocked the ball throughout the park causing echoes of bat-to-ball contact to ring throughout the massive stadium. In a game that exceeded our expectations of success, the win is not what I will take away from that humid April night in Minneapolis.

What I will take away from my experience of playing at U.S Bank Stadium is the thrill that I saw in my peers. It wasn’t necessary for the stadium employees to turn on the overhead stadium lights, because the smiles coming from the White Hawk bench were enough to light up the stadium in it’s entirety. Baseball is, has, and always will be a kids’ game. For one final time for many of the White Hawks, we were kids again. With the overwhelming cloud of the adult world hanging ahead of the seniors on the team, it was an incredible escape into the exuberant realm of childhood dreams once more. We escaped into our own Field of Dreams, and dipped ourselves into the magic waters of happiness.

Playing at U.S Bank Stadium is an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s moments such as this in our lives that we relish in, and that will be a conversation piece for quite some time to come. There is no other group of peers that I would rather have experienced this opportunity with, as we truly came together as a team, and sank in the magnitude of our experience. I feel that the team pride is at an all time high, and that we will continue to give it our all, not for ourselves, but for the team, for the remainder of the season.

2017 MWHS Boys Baseball Team at US Bank Stadium
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