Rusk baseball seniors ready for redemption

Rusk Baseball
Rusk Baseball(ktre sports)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:30 PM CST
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RUSK, Texas (KTRE) - After falling just shy of a state title in 2021, the Rusk baseball team truly believes they have what it takes to claim gold this time around.

Three of the seniors celebrated Signing Day on Wednesday. Pitcher JD Thompson signed with Vanderbilt. Pitcher Mason Cirkle signed with Kansas Wesleyan. Outfielder Will Dixon signed with SFA. The three are ready to get back on the field for the first day of practice on January 21 and get to work.

“It is redemption time,” Thompson said. “We were a few hits shy and a couple of runs short of bringing home the gold medal back to Rusk. I mean now we have to. We cannot fall to that level again. We need to play to the best of our ability and bring it home this year. "

A double play in the seventh inning of the championship game gave Pleasant Grove the win and their third state title. As the Hawks celebrated, Rusk shed their tears and knew they had to get back to work.

“That puts a mindset on us to get back to that level and play good baseball to the end and win the whole thing,” Dixon said.

The game was tough after they knocked off long standing powerhouse Sinton in the semifinals.

“We surprised a lot of people the way we came out,” Cirkle said. “I think we have a good chance to win it all this year.”

Head Coach Ross McMurry knows he will not have to say much to motivate the team when they get back on the field. He knows expectations are high and his team knows those expectations are high.

“Some people will look at expectations and say, ‘Wow, we have to live up to this.’”, McMurry said. “Others will say, ‘it is a real privilege because of what we have done.’ I don’t know if I will have a group of guys like this to coach again. It is something I try to tell myself on the way to work when I do my gratitude list is just say how grateful I am and to never forget these moments with these guys.”

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