Editor’s note: Since being part of a high school sports team isn’t just about competing in scheduled events, the Daily Herald is going behind the scenes and telling a little bit of the stories of our 2020 spring athletic squads here in Utah Valley. To do that, we are having team captains describe their teams, talk about favorite experiences and relate lessons learned.

This is an actual conversation between Aaron Hair and one of his Mountain View baseball teammates.

Teammate: “I’m bored. Are you bored?”

Hair: “Yeah, I’m bored. Let’s go hit.”

It’s not as if Hair doesn’t have enough to keep him busy. Aside from finishing out his senior year in the virtual classroom, Hair has been working two jobs during the coronavirus shutdown. His father sells food storage supplies, and business has been strong.

But it ain’t baseball.

Still, Hair has been able to find a way to deal with the loss of his senior year in the sport he loves.

“You don’t have to go to school, you can enjoy time outside, you can be with your family and all of that is great,” he said. “Our family wasn’t home much because we’re all involved in so many things, and we’ve grown closer as a family. I have a lot better relationship with family.”

If anyone has a right to be bitter about the cancellation of the prep baseball season, it’s Hair. As a junior, he dislocated his patella tendon and was out most of the season. When he was healthy enough to throw again, he tweaked his knee during warmups and had to miss more time. He was well enough to play a little third base and take some at-bats, but was never at full strength.

“I would hit and then pretty much walk to first base,” Hair said. “Then I would let people run for me.”

Hair worked hard to recover during the offseason and then was dealt with another challenge: changing positions.

“I’d always been an outfielder but I was moved to shortstop,” Hair said. “I had to learn a lot of different things. It was a good challenge and helped me relate to all the new guys coming in. We really grew together.”

Mountain View played five games before the season was postponed. It was long enough for Hair to discover a unique bond with his team.

“Honestly, I love the diversity on our team,” he said. “We’ve got cowboys, city slickers, guys from single-parent homes, kids that are strong in the church, others that aren’t very active, just people from all different aspects and walks of life coming together. The love of baseball was our connection.”

On the team’s final road trip to a tournament in St. George, new coach Beau McCoy had the players split up as roommates by position instead of class. Hair spent a lot of time with the team’s other shortstops: a gregarious, outgoing sophomore and a shy, hesitant freshman.

“It was interesting watching us bond together,” Hair said. “We had secret handshakes and did some pranks. I loved St. George.”

McCoy is a former Orem High grad but Hair said his new coach “has repented.”

“We don’t talk about his past,” Hair said. “I love the guy. He’s a great motivator, both in life and in baseball.”

McCoy said of his senior captain: “Aaron is a senior for us who has been such a great joy to have on this team. He has worked extremely hard to be a leader on and off the field. We moved him to a different position this year and he did it with no complaints as he took a leadership role as the starting shortstop. Aaron pushes himself to be the best he can. He loves to compete no matter the drill and hates losing. I hope to have many more Aaron Hair’s during my time at Mountain View High School.”

Hair has received his mission call to Risistencia, Argentina, and will leave sometime this summer.

He said he’ll always have great memories from his senior year of baseball.

“The week before they shut things down, we were supposed to play a game but it started snowing like crazy,” Hair said. “We all had to run into the dugout. The other team started with these dance-offs and the scorekeeper started playing music and putting the results of the dance-off up on the scoreboard. Then we were jousting and sliding shoeless in the snow.”

Hair said he’s learned a lot during the past two months.

“Honestly, when I’ve talked to people the view came up that life is like baseball,” he said. “It throws you curves. If you spend the whole time complaining about how much you miss it and that you hate life, you’re going to make you and everyone around you miserable. What I decided to do is to be as optimistic as possible.”

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter

@darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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