May 15, 2012
For the better part of Monday night’s series opener at AT&T Park between the Giants and the Rockies, fans in the bleachers saw little excitement in the way of deep ball threats, but if they were seated anywhere near the King City High seniors, chances are they had to stand all game anyway.
The 18-deep pack of Mustangs were a wild and riled presence from the game’s slow start to its rousing finish, alternately brandishing their spirit with a two-sided sign that read “KING CITY HIGH 2012 SENIOR DITCH DAY!” and “RUCK THE FOCKIES!”
The truants started their ditch day in style with a stopover at Carmel Beach, then caravaned to the city for a three-hour tailgate by the park. After that, they took to their bleacher seats in a nearly empty park for batting practice, and the gods of baseball rewarded them.
“We caught three homeruns,” said senior Glen Felix.
But the sweetest reward came later.
While many fans peeled out of the park after the Giants jumped out to a two-run lead in the eighth inning, the Mustangs stayed on, and when a Giants error led to a Rockies run in the ninth, the game was suddenly in jeopardy. With runners at second and third, the King City seniors were on their feet, making noise, not to be denied.
Next batter, strikeout. Next batter, intentional walk, jamming the bases. The hollers picked up in intensity, and stayed up. With the tying run at third, Chris Nelson grounded out to Joaquin Arias and the King City seniors jumped all over each other, jubilant, a ditch day victory.
After the game, the group shared their excitement for the next projected win for the King City class of 2012.
“Water wars,” said Felix. “A water balloon fight between seniors and underclassmen.”
The showdown goes down May 29, and “underclassmen from any town can come,” adds senior Johan Vachek. “Just make sure to bring filled water balloons.”
The group’s parting words of senior wisdom, sent via text message as they made their long drive home, were: “Life goes by fast when you’re surrounded by great friends, so enjoy every moment!”
Ferris Bueller would be proud.