BATTLE GROUND, WA (KPTV) - The class of 2021 certainly had its fair share of disappointments but also will carry plenty of life lessons for their lost moments along the way. One Battle Ground teen is making sure some summer memories will last forever for the next generation.
After losing out on the entire 2020 season, Battle Ground little leaguers are making every pitch count and swinging for the World Series behind their skipper from the Tigers' class of 2021.
"My biggest memories are as clear as day and are little league memories," said Battle Ground High School graduate Sam Sutton. "It was on that field actually, my first home run ever is right over the left field fence there. It was awesome, I was on the moon, man."
The 18-year-old is safe at home, spending his last summer in town as head coach of the 11-year-old and 12-year-old Majors on the fields where he grew up. Sutton gave up his own club ball playing season to make sure the kids had the guidance and the opportunity when there was a void of coaching volunteers.
"They just always come out with a smile on their face and after a super hard year, it really opened my eyes, like, just appreciate the little things and appreciate the game really. When I come out here, it puts a smile on my face," Sutton said.
Smiles on nights like when the boys went to watch their coach play in the Clack County Senior All-Star game in Ridgefield.
"They were excited to see me out there," said Sutton. "They were yelling at me but no, I had to shut it out. It was a little bit but I had to shut them out. It’s all love though."
A four-year letterman at Battle Ground High School, Sutton is off to Central Washington University, not to play ball right away but to study paramedicine and become a firefighter and EMT.
"I have always done a really good job in stressful situations and I like to help people," he said.