Rusk gives baseballers cheer-filled send-off
Neither deluge of rain, unexpected tornado warnings nor a last-minute site change deterred Rusk residents from giving the Rusk High School baseball team a loud, loving, cheer-filled send-off during a pep rally Tuesday at the RISD Coliseum.
“It’s 2021 – why should we expect any differently?” quipped high school principal Ronny Snow, to laughter from the crowd.
A mood of excitement filled the Coliseum, which drew between 150 to 200 supporters, along with the high school cheer squad and the boys’ baseball team, which immediately headed to Austin, where they would compete with the Sinton Pirates for the Conference 4A state semi-finals title.
The game – slated for 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at UFCU Disch Falk Field on the University of Texas campus in Austin – pits Region III champion Rusk (who has a 27-7 record) against Region IV champions, Sinton (33-4).
This marks the Eagles’ first appearance in school history at a state tourney.
“We’re just so proud of these boys – not only of their baseball skills, but proud of other things. I’m proud of their academics, of the young men that they are,” Snow said. “They’re not just champions of the field, they are champions of the classroom and community, and that’s what makes me very, very proud.”
Head baseball coach Ross McMurray agreed, saying that “at the end of the day, what I’m most proud of is our continued growth as young men and who we are as a team. That’s what matters most to me.”
“We’re going to continue growing; if we do that, we’re going to come back with a state championship. So why not us?” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Snow thanked McMurray and the other coaches responsible for grooming the squad for a championship season.
“Obviously, you don’t get to where you’re at without talent, but it also takes guidance for that talent – (the coaches) all have done a great job with the boys and we thank them for everything that they’ve done,” he said.
Then, as he prepared to yield the floor to the cheerleaders, he joked, “basically, they were thinking they wouldn’t be cheering until the fall, and now here we go with a little June pep rally skit. Let’s hear it for the Eagles!”
In a separate semi-final match-up, Texarkana Pleasant Grove will go against Stephenville during a 1 p.m. game Wednesday. Victors from the two semi-final matches will play for the state championship at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at UFCE Disch Falk Field.
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