Seniors commit to play college baseball

Story by Anneliese Hounsel, Sports editor

It started out as learning to hit the ball perfectly off the tee to perfecting the proper batter’s stance. The stains from the red dirt on their white pants got deeper, and their love for the game grew stronger. Texas High’s varsity baseball players Zackarie Phillips and Kyrian Williams signed to further their baseball career at the college level.

Phillips signed with Seminole State College. The game of baseball has been a heavy aspect for Phillip’s life for 15 years now.

“My love for the game always grew every single time I stepped on the field,” Phillips said. “I would play football, basketball, golf, tennis. I’ve tried them all, but there was never that connection like baseball had with me.”

He advanced early in his baseball career, which helped encourage him to work hard.

“I was always the youngest out of everybody, so I always tried to push myself to be better than everybody else was,” Phillips said. “I started playing baseball when I was three. I was always the youngest out of everybody, so I always tried to push myself to be better than everybody else was.”

When Phillips chose Seminole State College to be the next home for this talents, the decision was easy due to all the opportunities and connections that were available through his potential coach.

“I decided to go there because of the baseball coach, Coach “Zero” or Lloyd Simmons, and he used to coach for the [Kansas City] Royals. He was the USA All Coach. [He was] just a really, really good coach,” Phillips said. “I just think he’ll help my abilities of becoming a better baseball player than I already am.”

As he proceeds to the next level of baseball, Zackarie doesn’t plan to stop his hard work. There are goals that he hopes to accomplish and a legacy he wants to leave behind.

“I plan on going down there and doing big things and maybe even try to get a junior college title, winning the world series, and I plan on advancing after that.”

Baseball has also played a major role in Williams’ life from an early age. He stepped up to bat for the first time at the age of four. The game has been apart of his life for 14 years and his inspiration came most from his dad.

“As a kid I watched my dad’s old baseball tapes that he had, and I knew that this was something I would want to do,” Williams said.  “With all the bonds that I created, I knew this was something I needed to succeed in my life.”

Williams kept an open mind and payed close attention to details that would affect him in the long run. Oklahoma Wesleyan University was the best place for Williams, and he’s confident in what lies ahead.

“What really made it stand out was all the other schools that were looking at me, and [giving] me [offers] were like ‘this is what we’ve done, this is what we’ve done in the past’ and they really didn’t talk much about their future,” Williams said. “Whenever I talked to Coach Parker, he was like, ‘You can be apart of our future. You can help the team in this way. We would like to have you’, so instead of the past and not talking about me as much, he was more like ‘This is what we’re doing. We need you to be apart; You’re a good fit.’ That’s what helped my decision.”

Kyrian’s goals aim further than the field. He has expectations to hold for himself academically as well as on the field.

“I think last season, everybody on the team has at least a 3.0 [GPA], so I want to hold myself to a 4.0 and get out there on the field and make an Academic All-American,” Williams said. “Then, I also want to succeed on the field time wise.”

Williams is also looking forward to new faces and new talents. He’s played with the same group during these past 14 years and is ready to sync his abilities with a new team.

“I’ve played with the same people for a long time now, and just playing with a different group and different setting and different place should be fun,” Williams said. “I’m ready for that.”