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PCHS senior Mason Swinney signs for baseball

For a boy growing in small-town Alabama, Phil Campbell’s Mason Swinney has achieved what many young baseball players can only dream of. In May he helped the Phil Campbell Bobcats win the Class 3A state championship. Wednesday, he signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Alabama.

“It is a blessing to have this opportunity,” said the senior Bobcat. “I have always wanted to play baseball in the SEC. It is the best of the best.”

Swinney, who pitches and plays middle infield for the Bobcats, said baseball has been part of his life for as long as he can remember.

“I think it is the best sport there is,” Swinney said. “I’ve been playing baseball ever since I could walk. It is just part of my life now. It is what I love to do.”

That’s a truth his family has always seen and celebrated.

“We always told him to do his part by working hard and keeping up his grades and we’d support him however we could,” said his mother, Alicia Cooper. “Mason deserves this opportunity. He has worked hard to make this happen.”

“We’re so proud of Mason,” said his grandfather, Donald Borden, who coached his grandson in youth league and All Star play. “He fell in love with baseball when he was very young, and he’s loved it ever since. He has worked tremendously hard to accomplish this, and he’s been very fortunate to play on good teams with other good players along the way.”

Grandmother Jean Borden said he is a blessing in their lives. “I’m so proud of the young man he’s become,” she said. “Playing baseball has been his dream ever since he and his grandfather first got out and played when he was 4 or 5 years old. He absolutely loves the game.”

PCHS Principal Darit Riddle said he knows Swinney has a bright future ahead, and Coach Jonathan Raper called Swinney “an outstanding young man who’s worked very hard,” someone who always “goes above and beyond what is asked of him.”

“It’s rewarding to see all his hard work paying off,” said Raper. “Mason’s a very coachable kid, and he displays wonderful leadership for younger players. We look forward to seeing everything he will accomplish.”

Anybody who has ever played baseball or followed baseball knows it is a game of streaks and can test one mentally. “Baseball has taught me many lessons in life,” said Swinney. “It is a game of failure.  It teaches you how to overcome and adapt.”

Like many young athletes, Swinney said he has the ultimate dream of playing professionally someday.

“My dream has always been to play in the Major League,” said Swinney.  “I just love being out there and competing. I think baseball is the hardest sport you can play, and I’ve been blessed with the skills to play the game.”

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