Baseball leads the way to playoffs


Photo by Peyton Kuschmeider

Senior outfielder Lane Haworth slams the ball into the outfield on April 28 in a game against Flower Mound. This hit allowed Haworth to score a run later in the inning. “It obviously wasn’t on me [since] the team helped me get there,” Haworth said.

Baseball’s district season ended on April 28 with a 1-0 win against Flower Mound, putting the Hawks first in district 6-6A, the team’s first district title since 2016. The team will compete in the playoffs starting Thursday with an away game against Little Elm High School (8-5 in district 5-6A) at 7 p.m.

“[The last game] was crazy – in the first inning we shut them down,” senior outfielder Lane Haworth said. “[The other team] didn’t score, and then we came back, got a run in and scored in the first inning. The rest of the game was a pitcher’s duel. [Sophomore Marcos Paz] pitched great and their pitcher pitched great, [but we] came out on top.”

The team won its first seven games of the season, but then lost four straight when traveling to Houston on March 2-4. The team held a meeting at the hotel they were staying at, which allowed the players to air out their problems and bounce back. Following the meeting, the team only lost a handful of games to teams such as Birdville, Coppell and Marcus the rest of the way.

“The season was a grind [with] its ups and downs,” head coach Steve Stone. “There are peaks and valleys, and the good news is we were in the valleys and [we] got out. [We] stayed the course and showed some grit.”

With the team’s playoff games approaching, senior center fielder Aden Howard acknowledged the team had some ways to improve in things such as situational hitting.

“[Flower Mound has] a tough pitcher, but that’s what we’re going to face throughout the playoffs,” Howard said. “I guess we have to get used to it. I thought it was a pretty good game, a pitcher’s duel; the whole team fought hard, so it was a good win.”

To celebrate the team making playoffs, players have been bleaching their hair. Haworth sees the idea as a way to bring everyone together and not leave anyone out.

“When I was a freshman I was on varsity and everyone was like ‘oh he’s just a little kid,” Haworth said. “I had to really make friends with all the seniors and just make sure they liked me. It would be terrible if nobody liked me — I kind of relate to that. So when I see sophomores, and some juniors on varsity, I try to not be mean and let them know that I’m there to help them. We got some sophomores [and juniors] bleaching their hair; like it’s not just [the seniors]. They’re all with us.”

Led by a group of 12 seniors, Howard said the team is proud of what they have accomplished this year.

“I feel like the season’s [gone] really well,” Howard said. “We’re accomplishing all the things that we hope to. At the start, we struggled a little bit, but I feel like we fought through that and got our mentals right. We really kind of locked in and we need to keep it locked in for the playoffs.”

These coming games will be seniors’ last opportunities to play as a team, but for many of the seniors, it will not be the last time to play since most have committed to universities. Howard has committed to Dallas Baptist University and Haworth has committed to Wichita State. 

“Honestly [I’ll miss] just having fun and winning,” Haworth said. “I’ve been close to these guys for [years], some of them since [playing] T-ball [when] I was like 6 years old. We got 14 people going to play college baseball somewhere and we’re all going to be going to separate places, but we will still keep in touch. That’s why we want to keep winning in playoffs, so we can still have that bond a little longer.”