ECCC baseball past and present meet for 1st pitch dinner

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:57 PM CST
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DECATUR, Miss. (WTOK) - JUCO baseball is finally here but before the Warriors’ season begins, Head Coach Neal Holliman got his players together to meet the Warriors of the past in the annual first pitch dinner.

“We just wanted to bring back all of the former Coaches that were alumni of any of the five championship teams and the team captains of those five championship teams. Give them the opportunity and recognize them and then give them the opportunity to speak to our current team and current team captains,” Coach Holliman said.

Baseball as a sport always emphasizes teamwork and these warriors alumni know that it makes them stand out.

“It’s all about how to be leaders, how to help your team. Our team stayed so close that we see each other pretty regularly,” former Warriors player Jesus Aleman said. Aleman was part of the 2007 championship for East Central baseball. “We are all still a tight knit group and it doesn’t matter how far we are from one another, we still talk to one another,” he said. “It just means that Coach Holliman did his part and that we bought in to what he was selling and the guys that stuck around you know, we bought in,” he said.

A lot of memories were made in East Central’s baseball locker room, but with the past meeting the present, the most important thing is the future.

“Number one, we want to help them become better people and that’s just not lip service,” Holliman said. “I hope if we ever get to where that’s not part of what we are trying to do, that somebody will step in and warn us and of course we want to win championships. I mean we put a lot of time and effort into baseball and our administration puts a lot of support into it. We want to win, but if it ever just becomes about winning only, then I think we failed at what we are trying to do,” Holliman added.

“Want to versus have to,” Aleman said. “It has stuck. You know if you want to do something, you’ll be successful. If you feel like you have to do it, you’re not giving it your 100 percent,” he said.

This current Warriors team will take this lifetime advice and see it play on and off the field. The Warriors 2023 season begins on Saturday in Pensacola, Florida as they will take on Mineral Area College.