Lindale’s Cody Pike and West Rusk’s Makana Morton have the right idea when approaching a baseball or softball All-Star game.
“Just have fun,” Pike said. “That’s what this is all about, having a good time with new people.”
“I’m ready to hit some dingers,” Morton said.
Pike will be on the Blue team for the Northeast Texas FCA Heart of a Champion baseball game. Morton will be on the Red team for the softball game.
Both games will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Whitehouse High School’s baseball/softball complex. The games were originally scheduled for UT Tyler but were moved because of inclement weather.
Joining Pike on the Blue roster are Lindale teammates Kameron Wheeler, Theron Brown and Chase Rozell, along with head coach Rich Sanguinetti.
“It’s cool to get to take the field one last time with four of the six guys I started this whole thing with,” Rozell said. “It’s going to be a great time.”
Van’s Chase Richardson, who recently found out he will also be playing in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game in Round Rock, is also on the Blue team and will get to use Friday as a tune-up.
“It’s going to be a blast,” Richardson said. “I’m hoping to come out and play well.”
On the Red team are the father-son duo of Harmony’s Ronnie McNeel and Drew McNeel.
“It’s going to be really fun for my dad and me,” Drew McNeel said. “I’ve enjoyed all four years playing for him. It’s been a blessing to my family and me.”
“It’s really special,” Ronnie McNeel said. “It’s tough as a coach and a dad losing him. Having one last chance to coach Drew is special. I’ll never forget it.”
On the softball field, Morton will look to “hit some dingers,” which is something she did seven times this past season for West Rusk.
Joining Morton on the Red team is Grand Saline’s Brooklyn Bolin, who knows a thing or two about participating in All-Star games. Bolin scored 15 points to lead her team to a win in the inaugural Hoop for Autism All-Star basketball game in March. Bolin also played in the Azalea Orthopedics All-Star Basketball Classic.
“I’m really excited because softball is my favorite sport,” Bolin said. “I’m looking forward to having one more game with my teammates and playing for Coach (Marc) Chitty one more time.”
Chitty is one of the assistant coaches for the Red team, and Grand Saline’s Paytton Stanley and Zoe Deatherage are also on the team.
Tori Sanchez is the lone Tyler Lee athlete participating in the All-Star games, and she will suit up for the Blue team.
“I’m pretty excited but also kind of nervous,” Sanchez said. “I’m planning on showing out one last time.”