Today's Paper Coronavirus Updates Weather Latest Obits HER Jobs Classifieds Newsletters Puzzles Circulars
story.lead_photo.caption \Pleasant Grove first baseman Braden Hlavinka prepares to catch a throw to get an out in a varsity game. Hlavinka has stayed positive despite facing heavy adversity (Submitted photo) .

TEXARKANA, Texas — Adversity is best met with positivity.

Senior Pleasant Grove Hawk Braden Hlavinka has dealt with a lot of adversity over his last two seasons playing baseball.

Hlavinka missed his junior year due to a knee injury and now his senior season has been put into limbo with the coronavirus pandemic.

"I was upset about the postponement, but it was a relief in knowing that we may still get a chance to play," Hlavinka said. "I am going to miss making more memories with the team, but at the same time, we have a chance to get a few games in.

"Mentally, it's rough. At the same time, I am still able to field, breathe and go outside and work on baseball. I get to go out everyday and do something. I run every morning, do a few core lifts here and there, I hit off a tee in my cage here at my house, I pitch a little bit and I have done some fielding a few times at a baseball facility."

Hlavinka bats and throws right. He has played first base, shortstop and third base so far this season. Hlavinka had to fill in at short for an injured teammate and then third to fill in. Going forward, he alternate between first, third and pitching. Hlavinka plays under Hawks' head coach Riley Fincher.

"Knowing the situation and what I will do next during a game is the most challenging part of baseball," Hlavinka said. "Coach Fincher is a great coach, and I love him to death. He involves everyone and if a player doesn't know something, he will take the time to explain instead of getting upset.

"Coach Fincher is outgoing and makes sure the players have everything they need. He gives us life lessons and makes sure we don't take anything for granted. If we had a bad game, he will make sure everyone is OK. He tells us to play fast, play hard and to give everything that we have."

Hlavinka likes that baseball is a team sport that involves several players. He likes how everyone comes together and works together toward a common goal.

The Pleasant Grove standout has plans to play baseball at the collegiate level and has two offers. Hlavinka has been offered by National Park College in Hot Springs, Ark., and Arkansas Baptist. Southern Arkansas has also reached out.

"I am willing to put in the work, and I would love to play in the big leagues," he said. "But I am planning on going to medical school and becoming an anesthesiologist."

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.