By Joseph Garcia
Liberty Hill senior shortstop Kyle Marshall has stepped into a leadership role this season and he lives and leads by one law: Playing as a team.
Marshall, 18, is in a natural leadership position at shortstop and is the captain of the infield. He said that playing as a team is the most important aspect to not only being a winning team, but maintaining one with great chemistry.
As a leader, he keeps a positive attitude flowing throughout the dugout.
“It’s not about one person, it’s about the whole team,” Marshall said. “As a team leader you can never talk anyone down. You always have to stay positive.”
The Cedar Park native has lived in Liberty Hill for eight years and has made an impact on Panther athletics from football to baseball. Now, in his final athletic season as a Panther, he is soaking up the camaraderie and everything else that comes with being part of a team.
He is also producing on the field and has worked hard to improve as a batter as well, going from a .200 hitter last year to a .350 hitter this season.
“Kyle has worked hard this year during practice to be a better shortstop,” said Liberty Hill Coach Mike Kristan. “When he makes a mistake in practice he immediately wants me to hit him another ball.”
Kyle Wayne is his nickname and he started playing baseball when he was 5 years old. He loves to fish, work on cars and hunt as well. Marshall always keeps his eye on the target, whether it is a baseball or wild game.
In November 2012 while on a duck hunting excursion in West with teammate Tyler Barrows and his father, Marshall, equipped with a 12 gauge shot gun, bagged the limit of ducks in just half an hour. He said it was the best hunt he has ever had.
“It was just awesome because it was our first hunt,” he said. (My hunts) have never been that good.”
Marshall and the Panthers are now hunting a second consecutive district championship. That is their first goal before trying to make a run at the state tournament.
While math is Marshall’s favorite subject in school, it did not take much calculating to know that 0-8 is a bad start to the season. But he and the Panthers remained positive and have developed into the fun-loving, confident group that Liberty Hill fields today.
“I think it has been an awesome season,” Marshall acknowledged. “We didn’t start off good, but we’re having fun and we got stuff together. We have always had each other’s backs. Sure, we give each other (grief), but it’s just a sign of being a (close) team.”
Liberty Hill has half its district schedule remaining and what fans hope will be an extensive postseason. But when it does come to an end, Marshall has a plan.
After having lived in Texas his whole life, he will move northwest to school in Wyoming. In Laramie, Wyo., Marshall will attend WyoTech to become a diesel mechanic. But while he works on his degree, he will never forget the good times he had as a teammate on the Liberty Hill Panthers baseball team.
“I am going to miss (the team) when the season is over,” Marshall said.