WATCH: Calling Up the Hawks
WALL, TX -- Behind every story is a beginning -- a place where dreams are planted and cultivated like cotton seed in West Texas.
For the state-bound no. 1-ranked Wall Hawks (37-1), that seed was planted at the Little League fields of Fairview.
Players like Ryan Gully, Gage Weishuhn and Tanner Seider, to name a few, still hold the bragging rights as part of the 2013 sectional final team from Wall Little League. They went 6-2 that year, sweeping their district before going 2-2 at the sectional tournament in San Antonio. Their only losses came to the team from Eagle Pass, one of which was in the championship game.
Following the sectional final are the state and regional championships to determine who goes to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
They say their drive to win started at the Fairview fields without a thought of what they could be on the verge of in high school.
“Honestly, we were young and we weren’t thinking too much about high school,” Gully said. “We were just enjoying the moment. We knew we were good. We all knew what we had in store for us in high school, but we didn’t think we’d be this good.”
Reminiscing about their Little League days, the Hawks have fond memories.
“It was fun. It was a bunch of little guys running around, not knowing what to do really,” Seider said. “Just fielding the ball and throwing it, getting our dads yelling at us sometimes. It was fun.”
Seider estimates eight members of that 2013 team are still playing together at the high school level. In his teammates’ eyes, that’s helped create their unbreakable bond.
“It’s been awesome. There hasn’t been any kind of fighting or anything on this team,” Gully said. “Growing up since we could remember, it’s just all of our best friends. We’re out here having fun and winning baseball.”
From a coaching standpoint, that’s helped drive home the foundations of Jason Schniers’ program. The longtime head coach of the Hawks has heard talks throughout the town about kids coming up through the Little League ranks, even to this day.
“It’s one of those things, we knew all along these kids played a lot of baseball,” Schniers said. “You start hearing names, even when we didn’t know who they were. You hear names and you hear the community talking, ‘Wait till this kid gets there and wait till this kid gets there.’ We finally got that opportunity and it’s exactly what everyone was talking about.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s going around right now. Our kids in our elementary and junior high, they want that same opportunity. They want to be in the same shoes that these guys are now. It’s a continuing cycle. Each next group up, they want that experience and they want to try to outdo the group in front of them.”
As it sits right now, the 2019 seniors, who graduated during their regional semifinal series with Breckenridge, are still a part of the longest run by any baseball team at Wall High School. They’re hopeful they can set a new precedent for kids coming up behind them with a possible state title.
Wall will meet with Region III winner Kirbyville (33-7-1) at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock at 9:00 a.m. this Friday. The winner will advance to Saturday’s championship at 9:00 a.m.
Send sports tips to sports editor Sam Fowler at [email protected]
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