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Ennis’ Montgomery making good on monster senior season

It’s rare to find standout athletes who don’t absolutely adore their given sport, because love of the game helps them push through when times are tough and fatigue sets in.
Nobody can ever question Weston Montgomery’s appreciation for the game of baseball; if you watch him play you know there’s nowhere else the Lion senior would rather be.
“I’ve been playing for a long time and I love the atmosphere at a baseball game,” Weston said.
“The feeling you get when you hit a baseball as hard as you possibly can after putting in so much hard work on your swing. At practice, I think about how taking all those extra hacks and ground balls will pay off by helping us win.”
Like most youngsters, Weston got his start in tee ball. The shortstop has fond memories of playing for his father, Danny Montgomery, with the Ennis State Bank team as an 11-year old. Meanwhile, he was just getting his first taste of select baseball.
“My dad was harder on me than the other guys to really help me become a better player,” Weston said.
“I also started to play for the Arlington Cobras – my first select team – at that time. It was a whole new world with all the top players in the area. I really had to step my game up.”
After his first season in Arlington, Weston talked fellow Lion Chris Lewis into joining the team and they represented the Cobras for the next three years.
When time came for high school ball, Weston had to battle a tough foe off the field – the injury bug. Opening up on the JV as a freshman, Montgomery made it through two games with the varsity before he went out for the season with a broken arm.
As a sophomore, he missed all of the pre-district slate coming off of elbow surgery.
Undaunted by the adversity, Weston went on to receive first-team all-district designated hitter honors as a sophomore and then took first-team all-district shortstop honors as a junior.
If you’ve seen a Lion baseball game this year, you’ve probably seen Montgomery open a ballgame with a leadoff hit. Weston believes in getting to an opposing pitcher before the guy on the hill takes it to him.
“Normally I have an aggressive approach at the plate,” he said.
“The first pitch of the game is usually a fastball and I’m geared up for it. It’s a great feeling when a pitcher tries to set the tone for a game and I end up hitting it hard somewhere to get our team going.”
This is the first season Weston has been called upon to pitch for the Lions and he’s done an outstanding job.
In his only loss so far, Montgomery gave Midlothian all it wanted as he allowed a single earned run with one walk and eight strikeouts in six innings.
“Coach [Kevin Kalinec] told me I was going to be pitching more and I started working with Chris – he helped with my pitches and mechanics,” Weston said.
“As I pitched in some games, I started to feel more comfortable and confident. Now I always want to pitch.
“I prepared a lot for the Midlothian game and felt like I did my job to hold them to one earned run. Even though I got the loss, I felt like it was a confidence builder and probably my best start of the year so far.”
Looking back on Weston’s career highlight with Ennis to this point, it’s hard to get past his game-winning homer against former Corsicana Tiger and current Texas Longhorn Stayton Thomas in Waxahachie – as the victory helped the Lions clinch second place in district back in 2006.
“To see the ball go over the fence, I probably won’t ever forget that moment,” Weston said.
“Facing Stayton Thomas as hard as he throws with me being a little guy back then – I was just looking to put the bat on the ball.”
Weston also holds a 9-3 victory over Red Oak at this year’s Waco Tournament in high regard. Being the man on the mound that day, he gave up a homer in the seventh that tied things up. In Ennis’ seventh with two strikes on him, Montgomery answered with his own home run to put the game out of reach.
“That game came after the seniors called a team meeting earlier in the day,” Weston said.
“The homer really fired up the team and it felt great.”
As far as his favorite major league players, Weston is partial to fellow shortstops Michael Young and Derek Jeter. His favorite team is the Texas Rangers.
“[Young and Jeter] carry themselves well and just focus on getting the job done,” he said.
The Lions are set to face Mesquite at the Ballpark in Arlington on Friday and Weston expects an excellent contest on a field he holds in very high regard.
“It’s amazing to actually play where all these big-name players have set foot,” Weston said.
“Last year it ended up being a really good game and we’re already tied Mesquite this year, so I expect another fun, competitive game with that atmosphere.”
No matter how talented, every player needs a good support system and Weston is pleased to have Kalinec in his corner among others.
“Coach K has helped me learn how to carry myself as a player, take the right approach at the plate, know what to do in certain situations defensively, know how to throw certain pitches – especially a slider – and he’s always there to hit ground balls to me or let me come hit in the cage during the offseason,” Weston said.
“My parents [Danny and Rosemary] have always been there to support me – putting in the time, money and effort for everything I’ve needed. They got me a strength and conditioning trainer – Jesse Martinez – after my sophomore year, and he helped me tremendously with my strength, speed and agility. I wouldn’t be near the player I am without him.”
After graduation, Weston will be taking the field for Texas A&M Corpus Christi. With his skill set and motivation, however, Montgomery hopes it’s merely a steppingstone in his career on the diamond.
“I’ll need to work hard to get my schoolwork done and not let anything affect my play,” Weston said.
“Hopefully I will get drafted after my second or third year when I’ve fine-tuned my skills. It would be awesome to play baseball as a job.”
From every indication during his time with the Lions, it would be a job well done.

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Posted by on Mar 20 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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