Breckenridge Texan

Escalon signs with Tarleton State University to play baseball

Escalon signs with Tarleton State University to play baseball
November 14
07:40 2019

When Breckenridge High School senior Jake Escalon heads off to college next year, he will be trading his Buckaroo B for a Tarleton T.

On Wednesday night, sitting at a table in the entry to the BISD Athletic & Fine Arts Center with his family and surrounded by friends, coaches and community supporters, Escalon signed a Letter of Intent to play for the Tarleton Texans baseball team. He will play one more season for the Buckaroo baseball team this spring and will join the Texans as a catcher when he heads to Tarleton State University.

Jake said it was amazing to see his family, friends and people from the community who turned out for his signing ceremony.

“It’s an amazing feeling, knowing that all these people are here, all the community, to support me. Just knowing they’re behind me all the way,” he said. “I’m so thankful that my team is here to witness this. They’re the reason I play like I do. Coach Bartley, the community, they’re always pushing us harder and harder for us to get better and better.”

He also said he credited his faith and the support of his grandfather, the late Domingo “Dee” Escalon, with helping him succeed. “God helped me a lot. He’s given me this opportunity, given me this chance,” he said. “My grandpa’s a big part of my life. He’s pushed me a lot, too, and I’m really thankful for that and everybody that’s impacted my life to get me here.”

Jake said that while he will miss his team once he moves on to Tarleton next year, he’s excited to move up to a different level, especially since it was recently announced that Tarleton has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference and transition to NCAA Division I effective July 1, 2020.

“It’s definitely going to be a different level than what I thought, so I’ve got to get ready for that,” he said.  “It’s going to be a fun deal playing up there with all those guys. I met some of the players already. I’m definitely going to miss my team, but I think Tarleton is going to be a second home.”

For Jake’s father, Patrick, seeing his son sign with Tarleton was the compilation of many years of hard work by his son over the years.

“It’s great, man. He’s worked for it for a long time,” he said.  “We’re proud of him. It’s him; he made the decision, and he’s the one that put in the work. We just kind of guided him through the whole thing. He’s the one that went to the schools and made the visits, and he chose Tarleton. You know, he fell in love with the campus, and the coach was great and made him a great offer. As a parent, you’re just awfully proud. It’s awesome to see your kid succeed, it doesn’t matter whether it’s sports or whatever, just life in general. It was a great feeling for me and Chelsea both.”

BHS baseball coach Kevin Bartley said he was proud to see Jake moving up to the next level of baseball. He said it is not just a great opportunity for Jake, but for the community also. He said young boys coming up in the program can see the kind of example Jake is.

“As a coach, that’s what you want; you want your players to move on to the next level,” he said. “I’m not taking a whole lot of credit because he’s had a lot of coaching before me through his parents and even community members here. They’ve done a great job with him. Then the work that he’s put in, he’s got to have some of that credit, too. That’s what he wanted to do, and that’s what he strived to do, and that’s what he worked for up to this point. It’s a great feeling to know that somebody that I’ve had the opportunity to coach is going to better themselves and move on in this opportunity by the hard work that he’s put in.”

BISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Casey Hubble echoed those sentiments. “It’s always a great thing, you know, the kids that put in tons of work like Jake has. It’s good to see them get rewarded.  He’s definitely put in tons and tons of work, and it’s just always good to see them get to take that next step and have the opportunity to go play at another level,” Hubble said.

Breckenridge High School baseball coach Kevin Bartley congratulates senior Jake Escalon for signing a letter of intent with the Tarleton Texans baseball team. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge High School senior Jake Escalon signs a letter of intent to play baseball for Tarleton State University after he graduates this school year. Watching him sign are his father, Patrick; bother, Jaxon; and mother, Chelsea. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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