The 2020 Bulldogs baseball team. (Front, from left) Julian Davila, Joseph Mendoza, Gus Livas, Angel Rodriguez, Logan Moreno, Richard Gonzales, and Osvaldo Cabrera. (back row, from left) Bryan Martinez, Jose Garcia, Marco Garcia, Xavien Shay, Julian Canales, Robert Zapata, Tony Casarez, and Deion Medellin.
If the school athetic programs had not shut down, the North Dallas baseball team would’ve been playing in the bidistrict round of the UIL Class 4A playoffs over the Mother’s Day weekend.
Instead, the players were scheduled to turn in their uniforms Monday.
After winning back-to-back district titles, the Bulldogs were working toward No. 3 when the season abruptly ended March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic. North Dallas was scheduled to play in the Lake Highlands tournament that weekend.
“Well it was obviously an unfortunate abrupt ending to our season,” North Dallas head coach Steven De La Cerda said in an email. “We prepare all year for our season and it vanished pretty quickly. But we are blessed we are healthy and learned valuable lessons through it all.”
With a core group of players and an influx of talented freshmen, the Bulldogs were making progress with each game.
“I thought our boys were showing great amount of progress. We started to click as a team and show glimpses of our potential,” De La Cerda said. “The young guys especially were starting to play at varsity speed and their mental approach was approaching as well. I really did like where our team was at and headed.”
The Bulldogs were 3-4-1 when the season ended and coming off wins over Carrollton Creekview, Greenhill and Sunset.
“Well it was a short season and memories came at a premium,” De La Cerda said. “But Marco [Garcia] being a leader and playing multiple positions, our freshman Tony [Casares] swinging the bat very well, Xavien [Shay] coming back from injury and pitching very well, and Logan [Moreno] our freshman catcher embracing the position and grind.
“Really all of our freshman stepped up and competing their tails off These were just several things we enjoyed to watch in our short season.”
De La Cerda said the coronavirus pandemic serves as a reminder to all the players.
“I hope the boys learned that at any point baseball can be taken away,” he said. “So every time we step on that field, it must be intentional, with a purpose, and never knowing if it might be your last time.”
The North Dallas seniors included Angel Rodriguez, Gustavo Livas, Julian Canales, Daniel Galindez, Kevin Zuniga, Xavien Shay, Deion Medellin, and Marco Garcia Wong.
Coach De La Cerda said Xavien Shay is going to East Texas Baptist University and Marco Garcia has verbally committed to McMurry University.
Senior Xavien Shay
Senior Marco Garcia directs the defense from behind the plate.
Senior Deion Medellin
Freshman Tony Casares
Freshman Robert Zapata
Jose Garcia and Bryan Martinez
A Bulldogs’ get-together on the mound.
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