By Taylor Grafft
For senior Colt Stofle, the key to success is remaining calm and collected no matter what the situation.
Last week with the game on the line, and more importantly a District Championship, Stofle calmed his nerves and stepped up to the plate with the weight of the Panthers’ hopes and aspirations on his shoulders. It was Stofle’s last home game of the regular season and his Senior Night. Even with all the pressure and distractions surrounding him, Stofle wasn’t fazed.
What happened next was Stofle coming through for his teammates in the bottom of the eighth inning and hitting a walk-off single to help give the Liberty Hill Panthers baseball team a win over Llano and the District Title.
“It was a great feeling, but in the end I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Stofle said. “The rest of the team helped by scoring runs throughout the game and in the end it was a great feeling for all of us.”
Stofle came to Liberty Hill in his freshman year and has been playing baseball since he was five years old. He says he started playing t-ball and then went from there by playing in various little leagues.
Stofle arrived on the Panthers’ varsity team last year in his junior season. Since then he’s learned that in order to succeed at the game of baseball, you must be strong willed and possess a solid work ethic.
“Baseball has taught me how to work hard and accomplish my goals,” said Stofle.
Stofle, whose father played baseball in high school, has also learned that you must continue to put in maximum effort each and every day to stay on top.
“I am working hard every day to get better at hitting,” Stofle said. “There’s always room for improvement and hitting is the biggest part of the game.”
Although Stofle doesn’t plan on playing baseball after high school, it has still taught him valuable lessons about friendship and hard work on and off the field.
Stofle says that he and his teammates have formed a strong bond from playing together over the last four years and that bond has helped them tremendously on the field.
The players spend time together at school and off the field, which has allowed that bond to grow even stronger. With that strong bond Stofle has realized he can rely on his teammates off the field just as much as during a game.
Before every game, Stofle spends a few moments clearing his head and praying to ask God to allow himself and his teammates to play to the best of their abilities.
Stofle is also a good student in the classroom because of his positive attitude and strong work ethic.
“School and sports come easy to me,” Stofle said. “Just focus in class and you won’t have a problem.”
The Panthers’ baseball team has their first game of a best-of-three series, in the postseason on Friday night in Glen Rose in the Bi-district Championship round. Even though there is a lot on the line, Stofle and his teammates know that it’s just another game.
“You have to play every game to the best of your ability,” Stofle said. “Of course the game will have a different feel going in, but we’re treating it like just another game that we have to win once the game begins.”
When Stofle was asked what his and his Panther teammates’ goals were during the playoffs his answer was short and simple.
“Win State. Plain and simple,” he said.