Our Raptors season came to a close yesterday with 2 heartbreaking losses to Farragut and Riverdale in the Class AAA State playoffs. Our young men fought hard and valiant but just came up 1 run short in the end. The games were both exciting with the Raptors coming from behind in both with rallies that showed everyone in attendance that these young men never give up. With that the 2014 Raptors end the season with a 26-15 record.
This team grew in many ways over the year. After a slow start that saw them with a 4-10 record following the Florida trip, they pulled together and in one coaches words "Became the closest team I have ever been around". They worked hard and performed up to the great expectations that were set at the beginning of the year. They can hold their heads high and know that they went farther than any Ravenwood Raptor baseball team ever has. But they also now know that the expectations are there to continue the growth.
So to the Seniors we say, "Cherish This". Jeremy, Davis, Kory, Ryan and Tyler, you are all great leaders. You now go on to bigger things in your life. You all have the attitudes and knowledge to change the world and we will expect to hear about the great things that have happened in your lives. Best of luck in all your endeavors. Raptors forever!
To the Juniors, "Expect This"...Stephen, Matthew V., Matthew D., Daniel, Bailey, Hunter, Luke, Bryce, Micah, Austin, Darrell, and Ryan. The bar is set. You all have great talent and the ability to take this to the next level. Continue to work hard and make each other, and others on this team, better and held accountable. Use this years experience to motivate and push. Expectations are high, but there is not a greater group of young men to meet this challenge than you.
To the Sophomores, "Learn from This"... Hagan and Drew, you both played pivotal rolls and performed at very high levels. Continue to improve. Take the young men that will be moving up from JV under your wing and become leaders. This Raptor program is yours for the future, and it is in very good hands. Don't let up...continue to "Run to the Roar".
To the JV, "Witness This"... All of you!....The future is bright. Continue to work hard in the classroom, the weight room and the field. You look for role models and examples of how to do things right. You have an abundance in with you every day. Use it! Continue to strive to be the best. The bar is set high, but you all have the ability to raise it.
To the Coaches, "Thank You for This". There is not a better staff in baseball. Continue to push. Continue to expect. Continue to teach. Continue to lead. We expect this of you and you have not let us down. We as parents look for role models outside of the home, to help us turn our young men into leaders and to help them reach their overwhelming ability. In this writers mind, you are succeeding. Don't let up. You have set the bar and with that comes expectations. You know this, but just incase it slips your mind, we will be there to remind you.:-) Thank you.
To the Parents of these Great Young Men, (Of which I am one), "Embrace This". This is a special group of young men and they will be grown and gone before we know it. Hug them, tell them how proud you are of them and that you love them. Then remember that these very young men when down by 6 in their final at bat in the State Playoffs, did not give up. They banned together and rallied to give themselves a shot! That is what great men and women do. In the words of the late Jim Valvono, "Don't give up, Don't ever give up." They did not and they made us proud!
Have a great summer and I will see you at the ball park. Go Raptors!