If you are a baseball fan you would know who Tim Lincecum is, formerly of the San Francisco Giants and now with the Los Angeles Angels.
The man was the first to win two Cy Young Awards in his first two full seasons in the majors in 2008 and 2009.
He is a power pitcher and at the peak of his career threw the ball at 99 miles per hour. He helped the Giants win three World Series and was their ace in 2010 but his major league career was not what I wanted to talk about. I want to focus on his high school career.
As a high school baseball player he only played two varsity seasons for his team and he came from a Class 3A team, which is what Pahrump will be this season. As a senior he won state player of the year and led his school to the 2003 3A state championship title and then went to pitch for the University of Washington.
Obviously, his college career propelled him into major league baseball, not what he did in high school.
What I am saying is, not all professionals need to have that Class 4A experience. I had talked to Trojans Athletic Director Ed Kirkwood about this very thing.
He had told me that many of the teams now leaving the I-A said that playing in the I-A, which will be Class 3 A in the fall, was a step down.
I really have found this not to be true.
But, really when you look at it, nowadays with the right exposure, it really doesn’t matter.
You have to really love the sport to get to the next level. Those that do go to the next level, get there by hard work.
Lincecum went all the way to the majors and not having that Class 4A experience really didn’t matter.
Think of high school as the start. As a high school athlete one develops good habits and a good attitude.
I think this is important. After talking to most of the athletes that went to college to play sports after Pahrump, the two things that they all had in common was a good work ethic and a good attitude.
Hard work being the key, the teams that work the hardest go the farthest and we see this every year. Those kids willing to go the extra mile are the ones that end up at state at the end of the season.
People are telling me that now that Faith Lutheran is gone, that Pahrump will be going to state more often. I am sorry, but that is not necessarily true.
Just because four schools left the division does not mean we will finish at the top. All our sports programs will have to prove themselves. Sure we have a better chance now, but the work has to be there.
The kids must first make the grade.
In baseball, there were several kids who didn’t play that possibly kept the Trojans from a fourth-place position and a playoff berth. The kids have to study. This also happened to Beatty in track. It was a common theme in other sports in Pahrump too. It also happened to the Pahrump wrestling team, volleyball team and the basketball team, just to name a few teams.
There was one kid on the track team that was doing six feet in the high jump as a junior and didn’t even come out for track as a senior. I know he had grade problems as a junior.
Again, the work ethic has to be there. The kid has to be motivated to stay on top of their grades. The pool of athletes is not that great as it is. Many of the athletes play more than one sport. So when several of the top athletes have grade issues, this affects a lot of teams.
I am not sure what the solution is to the problem. Is this entirely a kid problem? Not sure with that one either. Is it a teaching problem? No, I am sure of that. What can we do as a community? Again, I not to sure on that one either. If you have ideas, send them to me.
We are trying to keep the top athletes playing and getting good grades, so send me your comments.