One of the few players returning from the 2019 championship team is Calvin Graves, an outfielder who is serving as captain for the 2021 squad.
Said Head Coach Sean Persky, "Graves has a lot of baseball knowledge, and understands what we do here in Alpine. He has an immense skill set, and is a natural leader."
Graves had never spent a summer without baseball until 2020. Before that he played baseball every summer since he was 10 years old.
"It gave me a taste of retirement, and it's something I'm not ready for yet. The upside of it all was that I got to spend a lot of time with my family," said Graves.
When asked about his goals for this season, Graves said he just wants to be the best leader and role model he can be for his teammates. He intends to do whatever it takes to bring them together and build chemistry. But foremost, he wants to bring another championship to Alpine and the Cowboys organization.
To prepare for games, Graves makes sure he is well rested, hydrated, and fed. But, one of the most important things he does to get ready is the batting cage.
"The one thing I make sure and do is hit off the T in the cage," he said.
Graves considers playing at Kokernot Field a special experience.
"I've played baseball in many different fields, including minor league stadiums,” he said. “But the atmosphere and the fans at Kokernot are one of a kind. No matter the outcome, the fans will be there at the next game cheering us on with pride and passion."