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Colton West signs with UIW to play baseball
ROBERT C. McDONALD/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
Colton West signs his letter of intent to attend school and play baseball for the University of the Incarnate Word. He is joined by his parents, Melody and Terry, as well as Athletic Director and brother Josh West (back, left) and Brahma Baseball Coach Roland Salinas.
Wilson County NewsApril 25, 2012 3,328 views 1 comment
After nearly a lifetime of dedication and hard work, Stockdale senior Colton West achieved a major goal last week as he signed on to play baseball and attend school at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
Colton had a number of different options available to him, as a host of schools courted the multi-sport athlete. Some wanted him for baseball, some for football, and some even offered him the chance to do both. But for Colton, his focus was baseball, and his decision ultimately landed him at UIW. He said it was the best fit for him, and will allow him to remain close to home. Colton stressed how important his family is to him, and staying in San Antonio was the right decision.
Although he primarily pitches and plays shortstop for the Brahmas, Colton is likely to spend his time with the Cardinals either on the mound or in the outfield. He said he is ready to make the jump to the collegiate level, and is excited about his opportunity with the Cardinals.
“I can’t wait for the competition,” he said, “to see what it’s like, and then stepping up to it.”
There is much more to attending UIW than just playing baseball, though, and Colton is excited about the education he will receive. He is looking forward to working in the medical field, most likely in physical therapy. Many of his family members have suggested he pursue a career in the medical field, and at this point, he is heeding their advice.
Moving into San Antonio and onto the UIW campus will be a change for Colton, but it is something he will embrace. He said he would miss living in Stockdale, and all the people in the town who have supported him all these years.
“Everyone has been very nice to me,” he said.
One person Colton will miss in particular is his football coach, athletic director, and former baseball coach -- Josh West. Josh also happens to be Colton’s older brother, and the two experienced a player-coach dynamic most people never do.
Josh helped coach Colton all through Little League, and was the Brahmas’ head baseball coach when Colton began his freshman year at Stockdale High School. So what was it like for Colton, playing for his big brother?
“It was good,” he said. “It did have its pros and cons, but I think I listened to him more than I may have to someone else. I always looked up to him. He got me where I am today.”
When Josh was asked about how he viewed that player-coach relationship, the feeling was quite mutual.
“It could have been a struggle, but with him, it was a blessing,” Josh said. “I coached him since he was in Little League.
“We had to adjust to the dynamic during his freshman year, but we got through it,” Josh added. “On the field it was coach and player, but off the field we were just big brother - little brother.
As a four-year varsity letterman in nearly every sport the Brahmas play, Colton has had a number of memorable sporting moments in Stockdale uniforms. The most memorable time for Colton, though, was during his junior baseball season. His grandmother was very ill, and her time here was nearing an end. The Brahmas were scheduled to participate in the Pettus tournament, but both Colton and Josh had considered skipping it.
“My grandmother told me to go and play,” Colton said. “She didn’t want me to miss the tournament. She told me to pitch until I couldn’t pitch any more.”
Colton and Josh respected her wishes and went on to Pettus. The Brahmas eventually won the tournament, and Colton hit three home runs during the championship game.
While at UIW, Colton said his goals would be to “give it my all,” and to “try to be the best one out on the field.” He knows making those goals into reality will take a lot of work, admittedly more hard work than he’s ever done.
Ever humble, though, Colton took a moment during his interview to thank God and his family for keeping him on the path. He also thanked his late grandmother for all of her encouragement.
“She said she would be looking down on me pitching in college,” he said.
She was right.
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