BP #40: Mizzou: Till I See You Again, Old Friend
I know this seems late. Most of you left ole CoMo a few days ago, but Baseball kept me around for a few more days. This morning, I packed up my things, and prepared to leave South Hall. Only three more Southerners remained. Azra, a girl from Serbia who became one of my favorite people to talk to, especially when dealing with my writing. Then there was Sydney and Catie, two girls who I have the privilege to live across the street from next year. So after the goodbyes, came the walk. The dreaded walk from my room to my car, signaling the end of my freshmen year. I didn’t expect the emotion, the heart pounding nostalgia that came rushing into my mind. Every door I walked by, I brushed past the door, recalling the memories inside. Whether it be late night talks with a certain tennis player, or watching one of my favorite baseball players play RBI Baseball while conversing, or even playing card games in Mrs. Lane’s room, every room had their memories.
Every room reminded me of the ever changing group of friends I had made while I was at the Zou. Because the memories would be nothing without the friendships. Of course there were the OG friends. Some friendships, like Riley, Reed, and Tyler, had been there since day one. They have changed. They have been tested, yes. But they are still there. And they are stronger than ever.
Some of them, like the deep bonds I share with Jennah, Rachel, Liz, Bri, Alex, Trey, and Bryce, came soon after. But then, there are the friendships that just came out of nowhere. The group of girls mentioned before were my friends first semester, but the tightness we built over the last few months of school was something special. Something I’ll always remember.
Speaking of things I will never forget, This school year would have been wasted without Mizzou Baseball. So many exciting memories. From walking off against South Carolina, to hitting FIVE home runs in a game against Ole Miss, to Nolans flaming hiar (Awesome right?), to now, as we return to the SEC Tournament after a comeback season. I will admit it felt weird being the underdog. While managing high school baseball, my team was never the underdog. We were number-one for over two years straight, so being under valued felt like a change of pace. Instead of playing to keep our dominance, we were fighting to prove it. And that aspect became the greatest thing about the 2015 Missouri Tigers. Because everyone loves a comeback story.
But baseball became about so much more than just wins (Although it seems that way right now). Some of my best baseball memories were outside of those 9-innings. I’ll always remember Coach Jamieson’s legendary one liners, or Coach Mense’s awesome advice, or Coach Pratte calling me Nerd, or Coach Jackson talking about our love of Empire. These were the things that I didn’t see coming, the bonds with the coaches. But it became something I will cherish.
The entire freshmen class quickly became sort of my second family at Mizzou. And while first semester I had built some relationships with other players, such as Josh Lesterl, others were lacking. But that quickly changed as second semester started. As I began spending more time with each player on their own, I began to hear their stories, and feel their spirits. I began to find who they were, and many of them I became close to. From Jake, to Zach, to Howy, to Peel, and back to Lester, these are friendships that I don't wanna end. I want to keep growing in all of them. And luckily I have time left with a few of them. But at the end of the day, I was a manager. So the people I worked with began close to me as well, none closer than Dylan Wilox and Aron Salzberg. Those, are lifetime friends.
So after all of that, after baseball, after football games, after early mornings, and late night little talks(Thank you Liz and Poli Sci), Freshmen year is over. Its in the books, never to be relived, and only to be remembered. Never again will I have the privilege of Maxwell checking in on my day, or Jennah and Rachel drunkenly texting me at 3am, or Joey telling my about his frat adventures, or simply meeting new people while sitting in your own home. Never again will I watch my first Mizzou Football Game, or attend my first tailgate, or walk into Taylor Stadium for the first time. Nope...those days are over, but luckily summer only last three months. Luckily, Mizzou will always hold all of these things, and while they might change, they will never again go untold.
So Mizzou, It's Goodbye till August Old Friend.