In a few days history will be made, or not. The Thunder Mountain boy’s baseball team will travel to the Region V championships in Petersburg with a legitimate chance of advancing to the state tournament.
A large reason concerns five seniors honored on Saturday: four players and one invaluable manager.
Senior Chris Luck (number 10) started with the Falcons team on its inception three years ago and is a member of that initial team’s “dirty dozen” hard ball campaign. Luck was voted an All-Conference player that sophomore season, the only underclassman to receive the honor. His story is one of perseverance and ability. Luck missed his junior year due to an MCL tear and surgery. Luck rehabilitated and along the way kept being a leader, not only with his play, but also with his attitude.
Luck received the first pitch thrown in Thunder Mountain baseball history as well as recording the first hit and first RBI. Although only playing two years Luck is at or near the top of most hitting and pitching categories and has set the bar for those who will follow to exceed or succeed on and off the field. Luck has never missed a game for academic reasons and is one of the programs top fundraisers.
“His maturity and leadership skills have influenced those around him,” coaches said. “He has made them all better ball players and is a key to the success of the Thunder Mountain program.”
Luck has the ability to play, or coach, beyond high school and will attend Central Washington College in Ellensburg in hopes of making that ball club. The coaches’ gift was presented by co-head coach Bill McCauley.
Senior Camden Thomas (22) has also been with the Falcons all three years. The versatile athlete plays third, pitcher and catcher. Thomas brings a lot of positive attitude, spirit and swag to the team. Thomas is a three-sport athlete.
“Camden is a hard worker and always looking for ways to improve his game,” coaches said. “He has been a pleasure to watch as a player and a young man.”
Thomas plans to attend and play quarterback at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Co-head coach Matt Greely presented the coaches’ gift.
Senior Chatham Miller (13) is a very capable all-around utility player capping off his second season with the Falcons. Miller has stepped up and helped the team by playing all infield positions as well as outfield. Miller is a reliable and hard worker.
“He also provides moments of on the field comic relief when least expected,” coaches said. “Miller has also transformed physically while making great strides as a player and maintaining that sense of humor.”
Miller plans to fish over the summer and has not narrowed down his college choices, but according to his father, “Chatham will be going to college.” Assistant coach, and uncle, Joe Tompkins presented the coaches’ gift.
Senior Erik Reyna (7) is a dominating multi-sport athlete who has played just one year of Falcons baseball. Coaches stated it was a pleasure having a good athlete pick up a difficult game in such a short time and Reyna will be a Falcons player forever.
“He is very hard working, coachable and a respectable young man,” coaches stated. “His positive attitude has won the respect of coaches and peers in the dug out and on long ferry rides.”
Reyna plans to attend the University of Alaska Southeast. Assistant coach Tod Luck presented the coaches’ gift.
As with any group of talented male athletes, a strong willed female must be in charge at some level. Senior manager Kasie Johnston is that presence at the Falcons’ dugout.
“We would be remiss if we did not recognize that you cannot run a baseball team just with ball players and coaches,” coaches stated. “We would also like to recognize Kasie. She is a hard working manager and out fund raised any of the boys.”
Johnston was honored for her first year of manager related duties and presented with flowers from the coaching staff.
On senior recognition the Falcons played a double header against conference leader Sitka. Losing 7-4 and winning 8-5. The Falcons (7-8) open Region V tournament play at Petersburg on Wednesday as the third seed and will face the host sixth seed Vikings at 2 p.m. Tournament schedule on B3.