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HSBN Scholarship Essay Entry: Bryce Proulx

Proulx toed the rubber this season to the tune of a 1.50 ERA.

Bryce Proulx, #2, from the Taravella Trojans, is a pitcher that graduates with the class of 2020. Bryce was having a stellar year, with an ERA of 1.50 when his season was cut short. He gave us some insight into what the past few months have meant to him.

Essay:

I am a right-handed senior pitcher for the varsity team at Taravella. I have been playing baseball since I was five years old. Each year was about improving my skills and moving to the next phase along my baseball path. From t-ball to travel ball it has been about hard work and working together as a team.

The next phase being playing ball in high school, then making the varsity team. I have been on the varsity team for the last two years, and as a needed player that traveled with varsity for my sophomore year. I couldn’t wait to play my senior year and help our team reach states then hopefully win it all.

What started out as an amazing senior spring season for my teammates and I, turned into an extremely short one. My dream of going to states in my last year of high school was over before it even began. We got the news that the Coronavirus had become so serious that the school board was worried about student and player safety. That all after school sports were cancelled and that schools were being closed until further notice. We never realized that things could get so bad so quickly.

The varsity team was lucky because our coach, Joe Giummule, was able to get one more game in before it was all over.

Like everyone else I thought this would be over in a week or two. I thought that we would be back on the field and back in school soon. Our team even did some workouts on our own so we could stay fit and ready for when we went back. After it was announced that everyone needed to practice social distancing we had to stop working out as a group for the first time in years. It has left my teammates and I with a void that can’t be put into words and that may never be filled.

I continue to work out at home with weights, run, and ride my bike to keep in shape. I keep my arm strong by doing long toss and throwing with friends at a local park. I am doing all I can physically to be ready to get back to the grind but it’s not the same.

This pandemic has affected so many students not just seniors. Right now, so many things are new and unsure. At one point we didn’t know if we were going to finish the school year. It’s hard to believe that I won’t being going back to school, walking the halls to get to class, or seeing all the friends I’ve made for the last 4 years. I feel a real loss at the idea that I may not get to playing another game on the field we’ve played on for the last four years. I know my senior teammates feel the same way.

All the events for senior year have been cancelled. Baseball playoffs, Grad Bash, Prom, Senior Awards, getting our cap & gowns, and especially our 2020 Graduation. Even though there is no one to blame it all just feels unfinished, that the 2020 senior class will miss out on all the rewards we worked so hard to achieve.

I am one of the lucky senior athletes because I have committed to play college baseball at Saint Thomas University in North Miami with help from my Coach Giummule. I was offered a great opportunity to stay local, play ball and earn a degree. My hope for uncommitted seniors is that colleges will still give them an opportunity over the summer.

On a personal note, my Dad has been going through a bad time. He is a glazer/construction worker and has had to continue to work. He is extra careful; he wears gloves and a mask while at work. However, last week he became very sick with a fever and chest pain. My Dad was very worried about our safety, so he quarantined himself and contacted his doctor.

My Dad went to the ER and he was admitted to the hospital this week. They have run all kinds of test on him including the Coronavirus test. Thank goodness it came back negative, but he is still in there having tests. Because of COVID-19 we can’t be with him or even go in the hospital. We can only video chat or talk on the phone, it’s hard being apart.

What does baseball mean to me?

This is a great question.

I can’t imagine how my life would have been without the sport I love so much. Baseball has taught me so many life lessons, things that I will carry with me always. How to work together as a team, how we win and lose together no matter what, and that with baseball, things can turn around with just one play.

I have made so many lifelong friends and even friends I call family, all through baseball.

Being part of a baseball team means that I am not alone, and the other players on the field have my back. When I take the mound, I know I can trust them to back me up. We work hard, and leave it all out on the field.

I am grateful to continue to play the game I love into the next level. I truly feel baseball is the best sport because it’s pure. You have to earn the win it’s not just given to you.

Time will tell what kind of long-term affect the COVID-19 will have on the world, but one thing is for sure, it has had a major impact on myself and my teammates. I am thankful I have played with such great teammates over the years and have had so many great coaches. All of them have taught me something new and helped me grow.

Editors Note: Seniors wanting to enter the competition, follow the link below:

HSBN Senior Essay Scholarship Competition

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