Wednesday, June 04, 2008

ATH: All-American Todd Sebek

Local boy made great Todd Sebek got some great press today. One thing that a lot of people may not remember, and that failed to make the article, is that Todd took a baseball to the temple when he was a youngster and almost never played ball again. I even offered for him to be my team manager, just to keep him involved in sports. But his own love for the game and some wonderfully supportive parents allowed him to work his way back into the game. Look where he is now!

All-American Antler
Colin Wilson, The Daily Times, Published June 3, 2008

When Todd Sebek was going into his freshman season at Tivy High School, he told coach Steve Rippee he wanted to be the best baseball player ever to come out of Tivy.

Rippee told Sebek he’d do everything he could to make that happen.

“Nothing was going to stop Todd Sebek from being successful,” Rippee said.

And so far the coach’s words still ring true. Sebek has just finished his senior season at Sam Houston State, and he’s established himself as one of the Antlers’ better alumni.

Recently named third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, Sebek hit .356 with 25 doubles, five home runs and 41 RBI this season.

“As a senior I was really comfortable going into the box, a lot of it just comes from maturity,” Sebek said.

Sebek played in the Alaskan Baseball League last summer and says it has a lot to do with his great numbers this season.

“I was really confident and really prepared going into the season,” he said.

The preparation and hard work is no surprise to anyone who saw Sebek grow up on the diamond.

“If you know Todd Sebek at all you know how hard he works at it,” Rippee said. “You know how much he loves the game. He has a great passion for it.”

His father was another great influence in Sebek’s baseball career. A former minor leaguer himself, Craig Sebek had plenty of wisdom to share with his son.

“He was a great asset to have. He was always a great teacher for me,” Sebek said. “I was always just an average player that just overacheived, and my dad was always the inspiration for that.”

Sebek’s hard work at Tivy translated onto the hard wood as well. Tivy basketball coach remembers him fondly.

“We always knew he was someone who was destined to be successful,” Young said. “He just works tremendously hard.”

The Kerrville native also remembers where he came from. Sebek still keeps contact with his old coaches and even gives advice to some of Tivy’s current players such as junior shortstop Logan Vick.

“He’s just a very special kid,” Young said. “You’re just happy to have been part of his life.”

Sebek has had to clear a few hurdles throughout his career.

He transferred from Texas A&M to Sam Houston after his sophomore year. Although he was somewhat apprehensive at the time, Sebek eventually fell in love with his new school.

“It’s been a great experience for me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” he said.

The Bearkats have earned two straight NCAA berths, and this season they had the nation’s seventh-best team batting average at .337.

Now the biggest hurdle of all, Sebek hopes to catch on with a Major League Baseball organization through its amateur draft.

Although he admits he’s more than familiar with the “Tomahawk Chop,” the lifetime Atlanta Braves fan would be thrilled just to be drafted.

“I don’t have a preference,” Sebek said. “I just want to play.”

He confirmed that he has heard from Major League teams both by phone and by mail.

Sebek is finishing his business degree this summer. And whether he makes it to the big leagues or finds another profession, he definitely reached one of his goals.

“He is one of the best players that’s come through Tivy High School,” Rippee said.>


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