East County Sports

Eagles will be on rebound in 2018




By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (02- 27-2018) – To say it has been a rough offseason for the Granite Hills High baseball team is an understatement indeed.

During football season the Eagle varsity baseball squad on paper and by sight, this team could have had that spectacular year that all kids dream of.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck Granite Hills late last year, as the Granite Hills Eagles football and baseball team lost TE/DE and pitching sensation, WILL BURTON, as his life was taken at the young age of 17, in a car accident.

Burton was also everyone’s friend, a fantastic student, and earned the honor to play in the Blue-Gray All-American Football Classic at AT&T Stadium, and had several offers that included the University of Wyoming and Oregon, among others.

“Will was a student aide and my locker room protégé, and also my eyes and ears on campus,” said Granite Hills coach JAMES DAVIS. “A piece of my heart and soul was taken when we lost Will.

“The last moment I had with Will was our routine during fifth period to play catch to get ready for baseball, during football season. Will Burton loved the game and threw a four-hour bullpen the last time I saw him.”

Said Davis” “Receiving another phone call one afternoon last year, was the death of (former Eagles baseball star) TREVOR BARNES, which also hit hard, very hard to get over.”

To add to the teams’ misery, Davis received a call that BRAYDEN ANDERSON had been complaining to teammates that his left leg was in serious pain, next thing you know he was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg.

As young Anderson awaited the word whether or not he may lose his left leg. Brayden took up residence in the Cardiac ICU for five days, catheters in his body, just horrible for such an athlete.

Luckily Brayden was able to keep his leg and has since been cleared to throw a baseball.

“Will Brayden play this season?,” Davis pondered. “Hard to say, most likely he will not.”

Although this squad has had more tragedy then a team has probably ever endured, this could be that team that plays even harder for the fallen.

This is where phenomenal stories begin and tragedy turns into triumph.

The team will be wearing a black sleeve with Trevor and Will’s initials.

“We will try to heal and move on and play baseball.” said Davis.

“As far as our pitching, it remains to be seen, not sure as of yet, we can definitely hit, however our pitching is the question mark.

“The players we will rely on this year will be TREVOR HAZELHURST, JAKE FINN, and SHAUN MCGREW.”

The motto for this season for the 2018 Granite Hills Eagles baseball team is once they leave the locker room, no talk of the past, just hit the field and play baseball.

“It is hard to say how we’ll finish,” Davis said. “It depends on how we pitch and if they can keep us in the game, we will have the offense.”

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