YORK COUNTY, Pa.-- It is said that sports can change lives.
The 2019 Season is one of change for the York High baseball program.
Six long seasons have gone bye since York last fielded a varsity baseball team. Now, with a varsity slate the buzz is back around the blue and orange to be back on the field.
"To play with a family and be back on this beautiful diamond," says junior catcher Bryan Bauza-Soto.
"The best part? Having fun with my team, that is the best part. Last year we played JV, and this year playing varsity I am excited we are on the varsity level and playing against good teams," adds Bryan Seda, who patrols center field for York.
The senior is over joyed when he talks about what this game means to him.
"When I first came to York High I had nothing to do , (now) I spend time on the field having fun," Seda Said.
The simple joys of the game are extending far beyond the diamond.
"Because when they (young kids) see there is no baseball team and just school, they have nothing going for themselves. They just lack," said Bauza-Soto.
"Lack of knowledge, they just hang back and with the baseball team they have something to work around."
A simple act of a ball hitting the mitt, the pinging of a bat provides a game with that type of impact on the lives of York's youth ballplayers. Not just in the school, but in the entire community.
The results may not show in the standings when the year is complete.
After all the program was initially dropped due to its struggles.
But if you looked at this team's score book, you would note many more runs and not a lot of errors in the all important game of life.
"The baseball part is huge for these kids because they have an outlet," according to head coach Dave Carr.
"We have one kid that was failing all but one class as of February 1st, and he is now one letter grade away from the honor roll. We had another boy who was failing every class. He found out there was a baseball team, he is now eligible and playing baseball, we went from 23 ineligible kids and we are down to one."
Those type of results can not measured with box scores or batting averages.
Taking the field is an accomplishment in itself, and credit goes far beyond the halls at York High.
The Bearcats, needed equipment and that is not cheap.
Spikes, batting cages, bats were needed and support came from every direction.
York City Little League was instrumental, and so too was the Rotary Club, among others that helped provide a baseball foundation for the present and into the future.
“It has been very good start to hopefully build something that is going to continue here. They (the players) are all very appreciative of the support they have gotten from the community and I hope it shows on the field this year,” says Carr.
Baseball is a sport, and sports are competitive. You play to win the game as wise coach once said.
Yes, wins and losses are and will be important this season for York. But they will not define this Bearcat team sayid Bauza-Soto.
"You win some you lose some but once you are here you are part of the family, your life is changed."