My Story: Charlie McDonald, Valor Baseball Class of 2016

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Our new series will highlight baseball and faith stories from the Valor Baseball Class of 2016. Through the months of April and May, the graduating Eagles will have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences on and off the field through Bottom of the Ninth.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!” - Psalm 133:1

As a senior, edging toward my final months in high school, I find myself reflecting on my four years in the Valor baseball program and my constantly changing career. I can recall my very first practice on the baseball team and how I was feeling overwhelmed by the intensity and skill of every other player. I knew instantly that personal success in this program was not going come easily. My career has been a rather slow process to say the least, but it ultimately was the best path.My freshman and sophomore years I was on the C team. I loved every minute of every year on that team - the coaching staff was incredible, the players grew to become my good friends to this day, and the atmosphere was so encouraging. However, I knew I could not stay forever…thanks CHSAA.

From there, I moved to J.V., thinking it could not top C team, but let me tell you, it did. I have never had so much fun in a sport as I did my J.V. season!  There was something special there that I had missed in my first two years - community. Throughout that season I found my teammates and I forming a bond that I’ve never have had on any another team. Almost every weekend we would get together and do something; whether it be poker, pool, or watching fights on pay per view, we always had a blast. I didn’t know it would bear any fruit in the season, yet our record was the best in the program and the team was tighter than any of the others. I constantly would have varsity players come to me and ask me how we became so close, because their season had so little community.

On my path to this Varsity season, the lessons I learned from my JV and C Team years revealed God and what the Valor baseball program’s lessons in brotherhood. It is a bond like no other. It glues a group of players together in a fashion no other resource can. Without a team bond, how can you trust someone to get your back on defense, pick you up when you strikeout, or just be there when you slump? I can sense in every player on Varsity this year, that there was a desire to be a great brother and teammate. I can say this year’s Varsity team is closer than any other team I have been on in my life. I feel as though I could share anything with any of the guys, hangout with anyone, and play for anyone on the team, without hesitation.

Throughout my years on the Valor baseball team I have learned many skills, many life lessons, and many ways to live a Godly life. Yet, the most important thing I took from those years was brotherhood and community. I am not the biggest stud on that baseball field, but I can play fearless knowing I have a whole team surrounding me.

“Let love of the brethren continue.” - Hebrews 13:1