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The Campus Lantern

Tucker DeLisle perseveres on the mound

Tucker Delisle getting ready to pitch during the game.

Eighth-grader Tucker DeLisle, in a bases-loaded two-out jam, has one thing on his mind: “Strike this batter out.” Tucker steps off the mound, takes a deep breath, and looks to the dugout, which is enclosed by a metal fence. His coach, mentor, and leader, Coach Vinny, yells, “Come on Tuck, intensity and focus. You can do this.” Immediately the chills trickle down his spine and off the soft dirt that is met by his metal cleats. Tucker has one pitch to throw and he’s out of this jam. Bases loaded, tie game, and full count. A walk would allow the winning run to score; however, a strikeout would end the inning. “Intensity and focus,” he whispers to himself. As Tucker winds up to release his 87-mile-per-hour fastball, he knows he could do it. The air of the batter’s whiff propels through the infield as Tucker gets out of the inning.
Senior Tucker DeLisle is committed to playing baseball at division one school West Virginia University; however, the road that got him here has not been easy. The tragic news of his coach and mentor Vinny passing away hurt Tucker. Tommy Markey, captain and best friend of Tucker noted, “Throughout Tucker’s growing up process, Coach Vinny was his leader and mentor. He also acted as a friend to us in the dugout. As for me, Coach Vinny and I weren’t as close as Tucker and him were; however, I saw how committed he was to growing Tucker as a player and man. And that speaks a lot as to who he was.”
Although Tucker was ready to dominate his sophomore year, his leader and mentor had just passed away, which was detrimental to him. Regarding Tucker’s performance in his sophomore season, Tommy added, “Yes, Tucker struggled a little bit. I think anyone who loses their leader or strength will struggle in the beginning, that is natural and we are human.”
Tucker DeLisle has recently started his senior season, and to no one’s surprise, has been dominant on the pitching mound. However, he wasn’t always this dominant. Tucker said, “Yeah I mean I did struggle my sophomore year and it was frustrating. I spent many nights after games asking myself, ‘What is going wrong?’” About Coach Vinny’s death, Tucker added “Coach Vinny’s death was more than losing a coach. He was my leader and coach, and he acted as a friend.” Coach Vinny’s death scarred Tucker and he felt as if he lost a friend.
Tommy added,“Coach Vinny passed away at the beginning of the sophomore year which was when Tucker committed to play division one baseball. It devastated Tucker and all the souls Coach Vinny touched. Since his passing, Tucker has gotten a tattoo of a cross that says, ‘Intensity and Focus,’ which was Coach Vinny’s favorite saying. About the tattoo, Tucker noted, “Ever since I got this tattoo I can feel Coach Vinny with me. Whenever I am down or lacking confidence I can look at my bicep and see his saying, ‘Intensity and Focus.’” Tucker concluded, “Just looking down and seeing his message, I can feel him with me.”
Ava DeLisle, Tucker’s sister, commented about Tucker’s response to the tragic news. “Looking at Tucker some nights I could see he was defeated. He didn’t seem mentally there and I think most people could tell. Most nights of his sophomore year he would disappear to his room and that was it for the night. Since I was a senior at the time, looking back, I wasn’t there for him all the time when I should’ve been.” Ava noticed the pain Tucker was feeling. Lastly, Ava added, “Although he struggled his sophomore year, he has made tremendous progress because he has been dominant this year. He was also amazing during his junior year as well,” Ava concluded.
Lastly, Tucker stated, “My confidence has been at an all-time high during my senior year. I know Coach Vinny is with me and I want to do well for him and my team.”

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About the Contributor
Alec Tulio
Alec Tulio, Staff Writer
Alec is currently a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. He spends most of his time working in a restaurant and helping teach young kids how to play soccer. His passion is to work as a financial advisor at his uncle's firm during his senior internship. He also loves his dog, whose name is Jax.
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