ARLINGTON — A handful of Arlington Martin well-wishers stuck around for an extra hour on the final day of school on Thursday.
On a day usually reserved to mark the completion of work done over the academic year, several students, faculty and fans remained to cheer on the baseball team as it boarded a chartered bus and departed for Round Rock and the UIL state tournament.
It’s the second year in row that Martin has made the trip. The Warriors (36-7) will play Fort Bend Dulles (31-7) at noon Friday at Dell Diamond in the Class 5A state semifinals.
“This is great. It’s always fun to do this,” junior pitcher Turner Larkins said. “Coach just asked us to stay focused on what we’re doing this time around, and I feel like it’s a bit different this year.”
Fans formed a send-off line leading to the bus, and Martin’s drumline made a post-school year appearance to rev up the crowd.
For drummer Conner Beene, the moment had some extra meaning.
“As of an hour ago, I’m officially an alumni of Martin High, but I wasn’t going to miss sending my boys off,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll get the job done down there. What a way to go out as a senior.”
Players also got some goodies at the door of the charter bus, including personalized pillows and a snack pack for the ride.
But Larkins said the focus is still on completing what the Warriors left on the field last year when they lost in the state semifinals to Houston Cypress Ranch.
“Last year, we kind of just took it all in and I really felt like we were surprised or something,” he said. “This year it’s about finishing our work.”
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