With the 2019 high school baseball season in the wraps for all but the four teams that fought for the state championship at each classification, all-stars from Houston-area schools took to Constellation Field for one more game.
Technically, there were three games played between Monday and Tuesday of last week, with Class 5A and below splitting up into north and south all-stars and then 6A schools turning into north and south squads. All rising stars were grouped together and made into two teams there.
Sealy had four seniors voted to the all-star team: Garret Zaskoda, Hunter Kelley, Clay Roberts and Chaplin Moore, although the latter was the only one able to play. Sealy had one rising star in sophomore Rhys Reichardt, a promising left-handed pitcher who also spent time at first base for the Tigers.
Both Moore and Reichardt spoke to the importance in which the nomination holds out of all the schools inside the Houston area.
“It was a good way to end the season which was really a fun season because we went three rounds but it was awesome four of us got the honor to go play,” Moore said.
“I thought it was a big deal I was from one of the smaller schools,” Reichardt said. “There was a lot of 5A schools and then a lot of older kids on the roster, there were only four who were going to be juniors and one that was going to be a sophomore, the rest were about to be seniors and that was another big deal for me was being one of the younger guys there.”
The 5A and below all-star game was the first on the slate for Monday afternoon and one more chance for Moore, a recent graduate of Sealy High School, to represent his hometown. He did just that from the field, both at first base and catcher, and at the plate, reaching base on two of three trips to help the north team take an 11-9 decision.
Moore added that the group of relative strangers came together quickly when it all clicked in their heads that they’re there to have some fun.
“It was really exciting because I saw some of the names on that list and I knew some guys and I knew they were all really good baseball players, so I was just happy to play on the same team as them,” he said. “We were there an hour before the game, so we were just sitting in the dugout for a while just talking and we’re like, ‘Yeah this is going to be fun, it’s an all-star game.’”
Moore also explained the range of emotions he went through from graduating Friday night to turning around and playing one more high school baseball game Monday evening.
“It was pretty sad Friday night graduating and feeling like I’m done then I remembered I had one more high school event left and then I kind of brightened up a bit and went out there and had a blast,” he said. “I’m happy with how it ended with how our season went but I’m going to miss it, I wouldn’t take these four years back for anything.”
On the other end of that spectrum, Reichardt still has plenty of his high school career to go, the first half of which came to a close with last Tuesday’s rising stars game.
Similar to Moore, he talked about how Constellation Field, where the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League reside, was a little intimidating at first, but the teammates around him helped take it down a couple of notches.
“I had never been there before so there was definitely a different feeling around it, it was pretty cool,” he said of the Texas-shaped scoreboard in center field. “We got in the dugout and all the guys started talking and everything just went back to normal, I quit looking around at everything and realized I was just there to play baseball.”
Play baseball is some of what he does best, even against elevated competition with many of his teammates and competitors already committed to big-time schools like Texas, Rice and North Carolina.
Reichardt recorded two innings of play at first base as well as finished out the ninth inning on the mound, setting down the blue squad 1-2-3 while also registering a strikeout. In the batter’s box, he finished 1-for-2 with an RBI single to his credit in a game that all but signals him being part of the leadership role for the Tigers next year.
“We’re looking pretty solid heading into these next couple of years, I’ve talked with some of the younger guys and the class above me trying to make sure we still have solid teams because we’re losing like seven starters, that takes a punch but I think we’ll be pretty solid,” he said. “Me and Tyler Hennessey are going to have to take a step up in leadership because we lost some good leaders,” but he added that they laid the foundation for the steps these new leaders will go through when adversity strikes them.