After hearing about the Bay State Games Future Leaders Scholarship, Thomas Fisher of Stoughton thought he might be the right fit for such an honor.
For the application, the 17-year-old Catholic Memorial student wrote six short essays, gathered two recommendations, and sent in his transcript. Then he waited.
He hoped that his accolades athletically and academically would help him earn one of the six awards of $2,000. Now a rising senior at the West Roxbury-based school, he led the school’s baseball team this spring in average, hits, and stolen bases. He puts up similar numbers in the classroom, where his accumulated average stands at 95.4 and he’s taking advanced placement and honors classes. And to top it all off, he coaches a youth basketball team and is in an instructor at his school’s baseball camp.
In mid-June, he learned he was a finalist for one of the awards, and on June 19, he was interviewed at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. It took only two days for them to call him back to tell him that he was one of the six winners of the money, which he can put towards college in the fall of 2019.
Fisher was overjoyed when he heard the news.
“It was such an honor,” said Fisher. “There were so many great student-athletes that applied for this scholarship, so to be selected was such a privilege. The money will certainly help me when I graduate Catholic Memorial. It is definitely a moment that I’ll remember.”
Hal Carey, Catholic Memorial’s baseball coach, has been watching Fisher grow as a student-athlete and oversaw his impressive spring season. Fisher posted a .323 average, scored 10 runs, drove in six, stole six bases, and played well defensively as well as the team’s starting leftfielder.
Carey said that Fisher is the epitome of what any school wants out if its student-athletes.
“As an athlete, he is extremely coachable,” said Carey. “He really wants to get better. He asks questions, he listens, and he always puts forth maximum effort. He cares about the team and holds his teammates accountable. His teammates respect the way he carries himself, and therefore he has become a leader of our team.”
The coach said Fisher is the same off the field as well.
“He is able to relate with all different groups of people,” said Carey. “From athletes in his grade, to international students new to the school, to middle schoolers he sees around the building, to campers he works with in the summer.”
Craig Najarian, Catholic Memorial ‘sathletic director, thinks Fisher is a fine choice for the honor.
“He loves baseball, loves to compete, and is a tremendous teammate as well,” said Najarian. “It is always a proud moment when one of our student-athletes [is] honored for their accomplishments and for their overall approach. It’s well deserved and we’re very happy to see him be recognized by the Bay State Games.”
In addition to his baseball exploits, Fisher also plays a key defensive role — safetyt — for the school’s football team. To say he keeps a busy schedule is an understatement.
How does he juggle everything? He prioritizes.
“You have to do the most important things first,” said Fisher. “That is staying focused on academics for me. I learned to be good with time management and do all the stuff that I need to do; then I can do the fun things that I want to do.”
In the Bay States Games, which run from Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 15, he will be playing baseball for the metro region team. All games will be held at Boston College High School in Dorchester.
Fisher, who had always imagined that he would play baseball at the collegiate level, hopes to prove himself at the games.
“This is my first time participating in the Bay State Games,” said Fisher. “I’m really looking forward to it. I heard that it is a great way to get exposure from college teams and play with some talented athletes.”Andrew Higginbottom can be reached at email@example.com.