— By GREG WEBB
At each of Brock’s celebrations for student-athletes who are extending respective career’s and education at the college level, the head coaches will often begin the precedings with words about the honoree, and as one would expect, always complimentary.
Head baseball coach Chad Massey certainly praised Brock senior Garret Gaines, who was the young man of the day on Wednesday and the focus of the gathering to celebrate his recent commitment to attend and play baseball at Cisco Junior College in the fall.
Massey candidly distinguished Gaines as a player who did not bring a dugout-load of natural talent to the diamond in his first years of high school, but one who elevated his game to a level worthy of a state-calibre prep team and ultimately a ball player soon to have college credentials — all through tenacious, indefatigable hard work.
“My dad, my family has always preached to me that hard work and dedication will get me where I want to be,” Gaines said. “And it doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or working in a fast-food place — be the best you can be.”
Gaines, as many aspiring athletes are doing during the prep off-season, took advantage of a showcase held in San Antonio. As a result of the event, he met and received an invitation from the Cisco coach. The invite led to an October workout and subsequent discussion about furthering his education while playing for the Wranglers.
“It was really an easy decision for me,” Garret said. “The college is only an hour away from home and Cisco is the second-ranked program in the country, right now.
“I pretty much liked everything about the opportunity.”
With Cisco’s middle infield being gutted by exiting sophomores after its 2013 season concludes, Gaines feels that he will have a good chance to earn playing time a the Wrangler’s second baseman.
“I’ll have to work to earn a spot, as usual,” he said, “but I look forward to the competition. It will only make me better.”
Gaines’ penchant for the hard work involved, and the desire to extend his career, sees the senior also looking for more baseball after Cisco.
Leaning heavily toward a degree in kinesiology, Garret’s mind is geared for chiropractic medicine, while he is also contending with what his heart is saying.
“I can really see myself as a chiropractor,” he said, “but in my heart I would like to be a coach. My summer coach is one of my best friends and I see how happy he is and I see how happy Coach Massey is with coaching and being around it every day.
“That’s real important to me — I want to be happy with what I am doing.”
Gaines also attributes the hard work ethic to the winning attitude Brock exudes, and the pride of the tradition, recognized virtually everywhere in the state.
Words are few, and to the point, when asked what else is left for his senior year.