Seniors from the Foothill League proudly wore their baseball uniforms — and although the players compete for rival teams, it was just another day with friends, a moment to joke, ask where they applied to college and participate in a giant group photo before the season started.
On Sunday morning, seniors from Saugus, Hart, Canyon, West Ranch, Golden Valley and Valencia gathered at the William S. Hart Baseball complex for a photo together. Many baseball players have known each other since Pony baseball, playing together on travel teams and becoming friends outside of school.
Jeannette Egan, a Hart High School parent, thought the athletes deserved a moment to remember their senior year and helped organize the event. She enlisted coaches and parents from various schools to organize it.
“I thought I would do something nice because they missed almost two years of their high school experience, and to get them all together,” Egan said. “I thought it would be special for them to get together and make the best of it for their last year.”
Additionally, Egan enlisted the help of Michael Schnyder from Skybound Creative Studios to take the aerial photos and Erik Figueroa from Fig Design to create the banner recognizing all the schools represented in the photo.
Figueroa and Schnyder both volunteered to help highlight the athletes because of how important it was to the seniors and the community members who support their student-athletes.
Egan was happy to take on the stress and task of organizing the photo event because, like her son Ryan, many of the seniors grew up on the diamond.
“I want them to remember this place as part of their childhood where they started playing baseball,” Egan said. “I don’t want them to forget that they all played together as little boys and now as gentlemen.”
Hart pitcher Chris Moreno has played baseball since he was 6 years old and felt a close bond with the seniors from rival schools. He said playing against his friends is a fun competition. He enjoys seeing his childhood friends from the youth leagues on different teams and goes up to them to joke, congratulate and inspire each other.
“There’s always a little bit of rivalry with everybody, but in the end, we’re all good friends, and nothing really gets too out of hand,” Moreno said. “It’s all for the fun of the game.”
Additionally, Moreno added he’s excited for the upcoming season to play with and against friends, but predicted the Indians would retake the league title.
Maurice Edwards Jr. is team captain for Golden Valley and said he was excited to talk to the different players.
“I played with a lot of them in little league, and it’s just great to reconnect and reminisce about our memories,” Edwards Jr. said.
Additionally, Edwards Jr. said there isn’t much time to hang out and talk to old friends because of school, real-life obligations and sports. So, the photo event was a rare moment for him to talk to friends from other schools.
Maurice Edwards Sr. enjoyed this opportunity for his son to hang out with friends and see the kids they knew growing up to be great athletes. He said the last two years have been rough for all students and congratulated the athletes for their competitive nature while keeping a smile on their faces during a pandemic.
Edwards Sr. is excited for the year, the changes to Golden Valley’s baseball program and all the talent coming from the Foothill League.
“Kudos and hats off to every kid out here being able to deal with the pandemic off and on the field, and now all of them trying to be recruited with all the rules and everything going on, it’s just been very difficult,” Edwards Sr. said. “So, keeping a smile on their face and being able to persevere, it’s been excellent to watch.”