By: Patrick Morton, Mendocino CollegeHave you ever had the conversation with your dad or grandfather about the “good old days”? Who hasn’t, right? Usually when they talk about the good old days, they talk about championships, the price of gas, and the life-long friends that they have made in the duration of that time. I’d like to think later down the road when I have kids of my own, I will have the “good old days” talk with them and tell them about my high school baseball team and our championship. But most importantly, I want them to know the memories that were made, the life-long relationships that were built, and what a brotherhood looks like.
For the time being, I can only have nostalgia towards my senior year of high school. Not only because I miss my teammates and coaches, but knowing that I will never be a part of a team like that again. As I see it, we exemplified brotherhood in every meaning of the word. We had unity, love, friendship, and faith. The unity to be together as one, the love to care for one another, the friendship to bond together, and the faith in Christ. Romans 12:10 says this, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves”. Truly, the Valor baseball community showed love and honor towards one another.
Not only was the team a brotherhood, but the families and parents were too. One night, I received a text from Mrs. McNary with a picture of all of the moms together with a sign that said “State”. To me and the players, we knew that we had created something special. Usually at any level of baseball, parents will boast about their kids and make sure that the people around them know how good their son is. But in our community, they knew that our team was special. They knew that we were playing for each other and for the glory of God. I will always remember the impact that it had on me, as well as the impact I had on them. After winning the state championship, it felt like the parents were more emotional than some of the players. The emotions were joy and happiness yet sadness. I will always remember my mom running up to my brother Sean and me balling her eyes out and saying “You will remember this for the rest of your lives”. When I got home after the game, I sat and thought about what she said. I began to put the pieces together and getting the full spectrum of the sentences she had said. She said that not because we had won a state championship, but the memories of the brotherhood.
As summer ball began, stepping on the field was immensely different. Not only was I not playing for the same team or group of players, but I wasn’t playing with my brother Sean anymore. Sean and I had been playing baseball together for over ten years and that was the first time I had played without him. It made me miss the brotherhood even more and it made me realize that things are going to be completely different going into college. Many of my brothers were going into the army, playing college baseball, and even just moving on to begin their new journeys. But that doesn’t mean that the brotherhood is dead, but it lives on until the next time we are together again. It gives me a good feeling knowing that my friends and family are only a phone call away.
As we continue in our journey of the brotherhood and in life, our goal was to keep our relationships close. Not only do we want the brotherhood to continue on, we want to set the example of the brotherhood like the classes before us did. A brotherhood is not simply created in a short amount of time. It takes time. Players have to buy into the idea that they are playing for something bigger than themselves. Fortunately, we had kids from each class in our brotherhood, which allows them to pass on the example to the younger guys. After graduation, we become a part of the alumni of the brotherhood and become a part of the community that keeps the brotherhood closer. We will be able to come back and give back to the brotherhood and be the example. In the end, we all become a part of something bigger than ourselves.
As I get older, I will always have these memories and relationships in my heart. I will gladly tell my family and friends about my experiences and my brotherhood. I continue to thank the Lord for my time at Valor and I will look forward to continue the brotherhood as life goes on.