By Darrell Puckett
Every kid growing up playing the sport of baseball dreams to play in college and in the majors. You start as a child at tee ball and work your way up to high school, but the dream of playing major league baseball circulates in your mind constantly. Baseball is a sport requiring great skill, and it’s a talent you have to be born with.
Tanner Hicks grew up in Elmore County and attended Stanhope Elmore High School. His passion and love for baseball was obvious to anyone who watched him throw a baseball on the mound for SHES. He soared with talent and was offered a chance to play for Central Alabama Community College prior to senior year in high school. Before completing his two year degree at CACC he was offered a few NCAA Division I scholarship offers and Troy looked to be his set destination. It was just the beginning.
The Troy Trojans finished the 2013 season winning the Sun Belt Conference championship with help from Hicks’ strong pitching performance. Hicks totaled an 8-4 record with two saves and an ERA of 3.61 in his junior season. He pitched 99.2 innings, held opposing batters to a .223 average, struck out 94 batters, and upheld a .667 won-loss percentage.
The statistics don’t lie.
Hicks said, “Combine relentless effort with mental toughness and a little bit of ability and you’ll have success.”
Accomplishing goals are just dreams until preparation meets effort.
In my years observing, playing, coaching, and talking with successful people in baseball I’ve come to one result. You can’t deny talent. Yes, with hard work and determination a player can enhance his ability, but talent triumphs every time if given the same approach.
Hicks said, “First off God is everything when you get down to it. I do my best to thank him daily just for the ability to walk out on to that field and enjoy the game that I love so much.”
Following his senior year, Hicks is on his way towards the Major League Draft and with this comes realistic hope for local youth. This hope can fuel and drive the dream of playing major league baseball for youngsters all around. Everyone needs a role model and Hicks definitely meets the qualifications.
Dreams drive the soul for greatness, and in the game of baseball there’s no difference. If you want to accomplish something greater than yourself, then there’re certain things that must be sacrificed. Success isn’t given to you without self-sacrifice.
Even though nothing is guaranteed, Hicks has been impressive and the hometown hero will motivate high school players for years to come. His love for the game and passion that’s expressed exemplifies how baseball should be played.
To keep up with Hicks during his senior year just check out troytrojans.com and click baseball.
Contact the writer: email@example.com
[Edited by Anne Stanford - 11/11/13]