As more than 400 Coronado High School seniors walked across the stage Saturday, their Mustang baseball team was running the bases in Abilene. 13 seniors helped lead the team to victory.
On Sunday it was only fitting that family, teachers, classmates, and fans honored the young men for advancing in the playoffs and in life.
When red and gold fans heard the news during the ceremony Saturday, The United Spirit Arena erupted with applause.
It's been 24 hours that a baker's dozen ballplayers will never forget.
"That was one of our goals since the beginning of the season, to be playing during graduation so we'd have our own. A 2 hour graduation versus a 30 minute graduation, it's kind of fun this way," said Brayden Blackwell.
Parents of the young men were there to support both accomplishments. "We're lucky to be here, proud of them for graduation and proud of them for baseball," Jana Hoffman continued. "Today is a day these boys have hoped for and dreamed of since a year ago."
As juniors they watched their senior leaders graduate in after a devastating playoff loss. This year is different.
"Today's the biggest day in their life. All the hard work they put forth on the baseball field is nothing compared to what they've put forth the last 13 years in school," said their coach Gary Hix.
10 of the 13 graduated with honors.
Players like Blake Bass will stick with the sport. "I'm going to go to Texas Tech and play baseball there and hopefully have some good seasons."
Others will hang up their bat and glove, like Hoffman's son Blake. "No baseball for him, he's just going to college and switching gears."
Even though they're done with school, they'll get one last shot at a state championship.
"We're going to have to come out and play the way we can and keep hitting the ball and give ourselves a chance," said senior left fielder Brennan Johnson.
The Mustangs will face L.D. Bell in Abilene starting Thursday at 7p.m.
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