Mike Jaramillo, Class of 2015 - Bottom of the Ninth #104

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Bottom of the 9th - Mike Jaramillo

Mike Jaramillo, Class of 2015

Ecclesiastes 4 9-12 - "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

One of the greatest moments that I have been able to see and be a part of was winning the Oregon 4A state baseball championship with Ontario High School in Ontario, Oregon when I was a freshman. During the beginning of the year, we constantly heard how hard it was going to be.  Nobody expected Ontario High School to be competitive, even in our league. Even some of our coaches were saying how that year was going to be a rebuilding year. When we started to play in some of our pre-season tournaments, the team was starting to believe what everyone was saying. We struggled and conflict between teammates began to rise. After the last game of the Bucs Bags tournament, one of our senior captains, and also a very close friend of mine, said, “This just shows where we need to improve. Nobody thinks we're going to do anything this year. Let that motivate all of you, and let's prove them wrong. Really, why not us?â€It wasn’t long after that, we established the new team motto: WE>ME. This was the turning point for the team as we went through the rest of the season undefeated, and won the second state championship in the history of our high school. Despite all of the adversity that the team faced, we all managed to play for the guy next to us, and together we achieved what everyone said we didn't have a chance of doing.

I’d like to say that I’ve been a huge believer in seeing the big picture for the team, but if I did I’d be lying. This year, my senior season, hasn’t been that easy for me. I transferred to a new school, had to try and make a new team, try to fight for a new spot, and the most difficult of all, try to build new relationships with everyone. I struggled with the "disease of me", began focusing on myself, and what I thought was the best for myself. After much time and a few tough conversations with those who care about me, I decided I wanted to do whatever to help my team succeed even if that involved me sacrificing my time and putting my own goals on pause. Recently, we played the defending Colorado 4A state champions, Green Mountain, and this is where I was able to see how much all of this paid off. This was truly the first moment that everyone thought of the guy next to them, and not themselves. After being a witness to these two huge examples, I am truly a believer in the WE>ME philosophy.

In baseball and in life, once we each decide to start working for each other, we can accomplish so much more than we could alone. Baseball is a team sport for a reason, one player can't win every game for us. I honestly believe that once a team gives up the “Me†for the “Weâ€, then we will truly understand the game of baseball, and be able to play at our full potential.

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