The Deer baseball team capped off a summer for the ages Friday when the team received the 6A state championship rings. A ceremony was held at the South Campus Friday afternoon where players, coaches, student assistants and other team members received their reminder of a historic baseball season.
A few months after Austin Mitchell caught a fly out set off a celebration of the Deer Park Baseball team’s first ever state title, the team received their championship rings Friday afternoon.
Among the members of the state championship team honored was Tyler Lee, who was one of the team’s 12 seniors. He said the ring ceremony ended a journey that began early in the morning every day.
“Coming back to Deer Park and being in front of all these people, you know we did it for them and this town and it meant the world to get the ring with them here. The adversity we had to go through was unbelievable and no one had us making it to where we did,” said Lee. “So when we proved everybody wrong, the countless days of running, the yelling, and early morning workouts in the weight room all payed off. As kids, this is what you dream of, and it means the world to me and to our team to be able to accept this ring and bring a championship to Deer Park.”
While the seniors’ high school journey has ended, for players like Mark Barrow, the fight to stay on top has just begun.
“It feels good to be the team that finally got the championship for Deer Park. We’re ready to put in the work again with the early mornings and late nights so we can get back and have the opportunity to bring another championship home,” he said. Barrow, a senior this year, is one of eight players expected to return to the team.
Deer Head Coach Chris Rupp said the rings are symbolic of a the team’s success and its effort to attain it.
“It’s a great moment to be able to present the team with the ring because this is the goal that many teams strive for, but only one team gets. I feel really fortunate to be their coach, they’re great young men and seeing their hard work pay off is a great feeling. The ring is a confirmation that if you believe in something and commit to it, you will be rewarded,” he said.