Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons baseball team will honor its seniors at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Adair Kennedy Field before its game against Petersburg. The seniors commented on what they learned during the coronavirus pandemic seasons.
“I learned a lot in this pandemic,” outfielder Tyler Halverson said. “I learned to enjoy things when I got them and not take things for granted. I would tell my freshman self to keep working harder and don’t take plays off. I would want to change my attitude when I mess up on a play.”
Tyler Halverson will be attending Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, pursuing a degree in business. His favorite food is pizza, favorite book “The Hobbit” and favorite movies are “The Lord of the Ring” series and the “Star Wars” series.
Pitcher/shortstop Oliver Mendoza will attend Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and play baseball for the RiverHawks. His favorite food is tacos, favorite book “Hunger Games” and favorite movie any in the “Fast and the Furious” series.
“Something I learned over the pandemic was don’t take things for granted,” Mendoza said. “Just work hard every day. I would tell my freshman self to work hard every day, too. Don’t take days off, go to the gym every day, work out every day and be in shape.”
First baseman Josh Carte plans to apply to an apprenticeship with the IBEW in Juneau and hopes to become an electrician. His favorite food is beer-battered halibut, favorite book “My Side of the Mountain” and favorite movie “Road House.”
“Over this pandemic, I really learned the importance of just being around friends and family,” Carte said. “And it is so much fun to come out here and play baseball with all my buddies after not seeing them for a long time. I would tell my freshman self to just keep working harder and enjoy every moment you have on the field with your friends.”
Catcher/pitcher Josh Rosenbruch will be attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, studying wildlife management. His favorite food is orange chicken, favorite book is “The Other Side of Heaven” and favorite movie “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.”
“One thing I learned over the pandemic was to not take things for granted,” Rosenbruch said. “To get outside as much as you can. I took that for granted over the pandemic. I would tell my freshman self to work harder and start playing baseball.”
The Thunder Mountain baseball coaches compiled thoughts on their seniors:
Oliver Mendoza - “Oliver is a silent leader, one of our captains, and he never gives up. And it never shows on his face. He would be a scary poker player because you can’t tell if he is excited, happy, down or nothing. He has been a pleasure to coach because you tell him something and he will listen and go out and do it. Great teammate who never says a bad comment about anyone. Four years of varsity. He is probably one of the best middle infielders in the state. Everything he does is smooth.”
Josh Rosenbruch - “This would have been Josh’s second year on varsity. Things have really come together for this young man as far as baseball. Wish we had him for four years. He is a wonderful surprise, a great shot in the arm. He is a wall puncher, a hard worker and will run through a wall if it will help his team. He is peaking at the right time. He has worked so hard the past few years and he has just become a ball player, a real ball player. He is a good role model, another of our captains. He soaks everything up and he wears the biggest smile, which is the biggest compliment to coaches. You know he is having fun, you know he is learning.”
Tyler Halverson - “This is Tyler’s third year with us. Wonderful young man who gives it his best on and off the field. He has had an injury this year but continues to support his teammates and work hard on his grades. He is taking a big load in school. He is a very good musician, an excellent teammate and he is a good person from a good family. He put in a lot of work in the off season and has really improved from where he was when he came into the program.”
Josh Carte - “Josh is a tough young man who has been on team for four years and is coming off injury and fighting hard to help his team. He overcame what could have been a season-ending injury and has worked his way back. He gives 100%. He likes to help his teammates out with understanding the game and defenses so our team can get stronger and be better. He will be needed to help this team in the Southeast tourney.”
The Falcons will also play Petersburg tonight at 6 p.m. at Adair Kennedy Field and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Senior Appreciation is Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Above: Thunder Mountain baseball seniors Tyler Halverson, Josh Rosenbruch, Josh Carte and Oliver Mendoza will be celebrated on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. before their game at Adair Kennedy Field against Petersburg. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)