Paschal family grieves for baseball star
Slaton Burns’ sacrifice fly, scoring Aaron Biediger, in the top of the eighth inning gave Fort Worth Arlington Heights a 5-4 lead and the Yellow Jackets held on to defeat Fort Worth Paschal as the rivals played in the final game of the third annual Drew Medford Memorial Tournament before a spirited crowd at Sikes Field.
The three-day scholarship event was established in honor of the former Paschal pitcher and TCU signee who was tragically killed in an automobile accident following his senior year in high school.
“Drew was a great kid,” said Paschal coach Clint Dunham, in his first year as head coach for the Panthers. “His last year here as a senior was my first year as a coach. I got to get introduced to high school baseball by a kid who was an incredible competitor, a great athlete, a leader…he always had the dirtiest uniform on the field.”
To date, more than $44,000 in scholarships have been awarded through the DMMT, and $32,000 was awarded at the 2019 tournament with $2,000 given to each school.
Recipients are chosen by the coach and consideration is given to players that would benefit from the financial assistance. However, the player must embody the characteristics of Drew: drive to succeed, humility and empathy for others, and be a leader on his baseball team.
The players selected were announced before the Paschal-Arlington Heights game.
Scholarship winners this year were Leo Monks (Paschal), Izzy Lopez (Fort Worth Arlington Heights), Matthew Daiy (Mansfield Legacy), Chris Molina (Weatherford), Zach McDonald (Fossil Ridge), Nick Guhl (Fort Worth Country Day), Corey Goynes (Temple), Kade Fletcher (Mansfield), Andrew Graham (Ennis), and Noah Phy (Fort Worth Trinity Valley).
A few teams selected multiple players to divide the scholarship money between including Tony Robie and Luke Potter of Mansfield Lake Ridge; Omar Camacho, Sebastian Reyes, Aaron Saldana, and Alex Vetrano from Mansfield Summitt; Dylan Herd, J.D. Nguyen, Mitchell Ornelas, and Braden Payne from Hurst L.D. Bell; Preston Taylor and Bryce White of Mansfield Timberview; Justice Hayes and Patrick Hail of Arlington Martin; and Nick Chavez and Mario Trujillo from Duncanville.
“It means a lot because I’m being remembered as having the same characteristics as Drew Medford,” said Paschal third baseman Leo Monks, who has committed to Vernon College. “It’s a big honor because a lot of people looked up to him.”
Monks was a freshman when Drew Medford was a senior and recalled a vivid memory.
“Drew threw a complete game against Martin, back when they were state competitors,” said Monks. “He also smoked one off of the right field wall during that game and all of us younger players were just in awe.”
“I’m very grateful for it,” said Arlington Heights shortstop Izzy Lopez, who has signed with Texas A&M. “I was able the get the scholarship and it’s just amazing.”
This year’s tournament started on Thursday with play being held at Paschal, Arlington Heights, Mansfield Summit and Mansfield Legacy high schools.
The event does not have bracket play, but provided the 16 teams in the tourney with as many as five games.
“The tournament is unbelievable,” said Dunham. “We started with eight teams and now we’re at 16. The competition has gotten better each year and they’ve been able to raise more and more money which is really cool.”