Growing up, baseball was everything to me. I watched every single diamondbacks game growing up and learned something new every game. I first started playing at the age of five on a little league team with seven of my best friends. We were inseparable. We practiced together, went to school together and all lived in the same neighborhood. We all aspired to one day win a state championship for our high school. Suddenly we didn’t come to the field expecting to win. We came to the field expecting to lay a whooping on someone, and more often than not that’s what ended up happening. Coming into junior year there was an expectation to win state. Anything else would leave us unfulfilled. We finished with 23 wins and 7 losses and ranked number two going into the state playoffs. We lost in the semi-finals 4-3, which was a huge disappointment and upset. But seven of my best friends and I got together and decided to take this loss to heart. We decided that resilience is better than dejection and vouched to work harder and longer than ever before to decide our own fate in this upcoming season. State playoffs came again and we were 24 and 6, ranked number one going into state. We won the first three games in rather convincing fashion, and suddenly I found myself in the one place I had worked so hard all my life to get to: the state championship game. As we took the field when the game was just about to start, I looked around the stadium at the fans, friends, jerseys of retired major league players. Suddenly it all became so surreal. We played the best game of our season and won 4-1, capping off a dream season and achieving our life-long goal to win a state championship. We decided to take the extra time and effort it took to achieve success, and this showed me that discipline and dedication are the keys to success in any aspect of life, on and off the baseball field.
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