High School Baseball

SENIOR STARS: Tompkins’ Valasek inspired by Astros, Biggio

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 3/31/20

Tompkins senior Weston Valasek started going to Houston Astros games as a young child. It’s why he started playing baseball as a four-year-old.

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High School Baseball

SENIOR STARS: Tompkins’ Valasek inspired by Astros, Biggio

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Tompkins senior Weston Valasek started going to Houston Astros games as a young child. It’s why he started playing baseball as a four-year-old.

Valasek sat excitedly in Minute Maid Park, his eyes glued to legendary second baseman Craig Biggio.

“I grew up watching him and noticed how hard he played and how much love and respect he had for the game,” Valasek recalled.

Valasek had found his role model. He patterned his game after Biggio. He patterned his mannerisms after him. He was even in Cooperstown the week of Biggio’s induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame in late July of 2015.

Valasek apparently learned well, because he’s turned into a pretty solid ballplayer himself.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder is a versatile outfielder and infielder for the Falcons. He has made an impact ever since he stepped onto the field as a varsity player as a sophomore.

“My proudest moment playing for (Tompkins) Coach (Kyle) Humphreys was in my sophomore year, playing Seven Lakes,” Valasek said. “It was the bottom of the fifth (inning) and we were tied 0-0 when I hit the game-winning two-run home run.

“The feeling when I saw the ball go over the fence, and hearing my teammates and the crowd’s reaction, was a sensation I will never forget.”

With the UIL suspending athletics because of precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Valasek is hoping those sensations come again sooner rather than never.

Games are expected to resume May 4, at the earliest. Valasek has used the hiatus to work out at his house, hang out with his family and girlfriend and “raid my pantry and watch TV.”

“These times are crazy,” Valasek said. “This virus was completely unexpected, and there is still more information coming out about its effects. I’m just trying my best not to go into public and risk putting my parents and others in danger. I have to admit, I’ve also spent time thinking about how our first district game against Cinco Ranch would have gone—a highly competitive, tough-fought victory for Tompkins, of course.”

Though baseball dominates his time, Valasek enjoys playing frisbee with his dog, ping-pong and off-roading in his Jeep. If he’s not watching reruns of “The Office,” he’s listening to the Zac Brown Band.

Valasek recently talked more with The Katy Times about baseball and life.

Q: What is the fondest memory you have of playing?

A: My fondest memories of playing were for Tompkins baseball during the last games of all of my varsity seasons. Getting to be around and witness the emotions of all the seniors and remembering the relationships I had with them is truly special to me. Those times remind me of all of the team dinners, practices, and games that I played with guys who are like brothers to me

Q: How has playing the sport and playing for Tompkins made you a better person?

A: Baseball has taught me a lot about being a good sportsman and leader. It also has taught me how to mentally face adversity through a sport that has tons of failure. My high school program has put me on teams with incredible role models, like Harrison Stovern and Logan Tennel, who showed me how to be a leader on a team and how to balance baseball with the classroom. My coaches have also taught me the importance of confidence when facing the challenges of the game.

Q: What are your thoughts about the UIL possibly canceling the rest of its spring sports season?

A: There isn’t very much that us student-athletes can do to affect the decision of the UIL on our spring sports, but I’d feel very depressed to know that I, and all of my fellow teammates, especially seniors, didn’t get to finish our last season the way we wanted to. We want the opportunity to end our high school careers the right way. There was a lot to look forward to this season. It’s going to be very difficult for us to cope if we won’t be able to compete and finish our senior season. We just have to stay strong and look forward to being able to compete again once this has passed.

Q: What are your thoughts in general about coronavirus and these times of social distancing? How has it affected you as a young person?

A: I think the coronavirus is really scary, because young people could contract the virus and not feel any of the symptoms and put our parents and other older family members and friends at risk. I like being around people, and social distancing is really an adjustment for me, but I think it is wise to distance ourselves as a precaution so we can best manage this crisis. I have never thought that I would ever experience a time when stores would be out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottled water. This is definitely a time that I will never forget, and hopefully never have to experience again.

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