Mansfield Sports

June 16, 2014

Broncos coach, player meet at all-star game

Legacy head coach David Walden got the chance to coach his recently graduated outfielder Marcus Perez at the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game.

Legacy’s run in baseball may have ended in the regional finals, but a pair of Broncos had one last piece of business to tend to this season. Head coach David Walden was selected to coach in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game, and Broncos outfielder Marcus Perez joined him on the team.

The duo were in Round Rock this past weekend for all the festivities, which culminated in the game itself Saturday night at Dell Diamond, where the UIL state tournaments are played.

One might assume that Walden was selected to coach the team after the success his squad had this season, when he led the Broncos on their deepest playoff run in school history, but he was actually chosen last November.

“It’s more of an honor for your career than for a season,” Walden explained. And as such, he took the opportunity to get retrospective during the game.

“I tried to soak it in as much as I could, especially during the national anthem, standing there on the line with all those players in that big ball park,” he said. “I just sort of reflected and took it all in and thought about where it all started back in 1982. It’s been a heck of a journey and it was really cool to see all that happen.”

Walden’s North squad, comprised of senior players from 4A and 5A high schools, lost the game 5-2, but that will go down as a mere footnote in this experience.

“I had a blast. I met a lot of really great baseball players and really nice kids,” he said, pointing out that the interaction was bigger than the baseball.

“Just getting to meet the kids and finding out where they were going to school, and really just seeing guys who could throw and hit and field at a really special level.”

One player he didn’t need to meet was Perez, who has been with Walden for a few years now, and that comfort was helpful for the graduated senior.

“It was very special,” Perez said of having his coach in the dugout for the all-star game. “He’s a good coach and it was cool to have someone there that I knew and by your side the whole way.”

Perez served as the leadoff hitter for the North squad and knocked in the game’s first run.

“I probably won’t forget that,” he said.

Perez, who also played in the North Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association on June 9 at Dallas Baptist University, was informed a few weeks back that he was selected for the state game.

“I was pretty excited because I had heard from some of my buddies who have played before that it was a pretty cool experience to play with a bunch of studs, and I was excited to meet all those guys,” he said.

Perez concurs with his friends about the experience of teaming up with so many talented players.

“It was cool meeting everyone from a bunch of schools and seeing and kind of comparing yourself to other outfielders, because everybody is good. And it’s a good experience just to meet different personalities,” he said.

Perez also said he was able to simply relax and enjoy the event.

“I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am in district and playoff games,” he said. “I just kind of went out there had fun and do what I do and hopefully I’ll have success. I wasn’t nervous at all.

“It was pretty cool ending my high school career playing in the state all-star game with all these guys,” he added. “I felt like I ended on a good note.”

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