Perry Baseball seniors attribute community support to their success

Libbie Randall - Sports
Perry baseball seniors are honored at a recent game alongside their parents. PHOTO BY LIBBIE RANDALL/THE PERRY CHIEF

Three Bluejay athletes played their last home baseball game in Perry on Wednesday, July 11. Gavin Boyer, Austin Carpenter and Aaron Lockwood have been playing baseball over the past four years together and have walked away from their last regular season with plenty of good memories.

Boyer has been playing for Head Coach Mike Long since he was in the eighth grade and has been able to dedicate most of his time to the sport. Having not participated in any other sport, Boyer says his favorite thing about the Perry baseball program is his teammates.

“Playing with a great group of guys is really great,” Boyer said. “[Carpenter and Lockwood] have stuck it out with me the past several years and it’s been fun.”

He also attributes Coach Long to the strong and successful program due to his achievements as a coach in Iowa.

Boyer’s favorite memory from the past five years is when he hit his first triple.

“I don’t thinking anyone thought I could do it because I was the slowest guy on the team so that was pretty cool,” Boyer said.

This fall Boyer will attend Des Moines Area Community College to study engineering.

Austin Carpenter has played baseball since before his freshman year. That was also the year he went out for football, but decided baseball was where his passion was at.

Carpenter says he appreciates all those who have attended any and every game the past several years.

“We have a great group of fans who support us,” Carpenter said. “Whether it’s hot or raining they are here every game.”

When asked what his favorite memory is from the past several years on this team, Carpenter couldn’t pick just one.

“Every day is fun,” Carpenter said. “Being [at the field] and making new memories every day is great.”

Carpenter will attend DMACC in Boone this fall to study athletic training and physical therapy.

Aaron Lockwood has been playing baseball with his two other senior teammates since his freshman year of high school. In that time, Lockwood also participated in cross country and basketball.

Lockwood says his favorite part about the Perry baseball program is playing for Coach Long.

“[Coach Long] is one of the top coaches as far as number of wins in the state,” Lockwood said. “It’s good to be able to learn from him.”

Lockwood also attributes the best parts of the program to his teammates.

“I love coming to practice and to games with this group of guys,” Lockwood said. “It’s fun to be around them.”

One memory Lockwood will always remember happened during his sophomore season when he was able to get two hits.

“I didn’t know I was going to hit that game and I was kind of nervous,” Lockwood said. “I ended up getting my first two varsity hits that game so that was pretty exciting.”

This fall Lockwood will continue his baseball career at Loras College where he will study kinesiology.