The Cardinals baseball red and white colors will soon grace the fields of Dell Diamond in Round Rock. On Saturday, June 20, beginning at noon, Bridge City’s own number 8, Blake Hubbard, will take his place among the ranks of all star players at the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game.

The Cardinal baseball squad is no stranger to all-star team action.  In 2008, catcher Casey Jackson represented the Cards on the South squad. Current outfielder for Louisiana State University and former Bridge City team member Johnny Dishon played in the THSBCA game in 2007.  Kevin Angelle, a pitcher at Lamar University, was the delegate in 2006.

Hubbard is a utility player with experience at third base as well as first base. He has been selected from thousands of state-wide applicants for the south squad of the Class 1-3A division. As a senior, he lends a wealth of experience to a team that has only lost three key players since the 26-7(13-1) season in 2007-2008.  

Hubbard noted,” This is my last year to play ball and hopefully it will end with a good run.

“I would definitely like to play for Lamar like some of the former all-star players have. It would be great to keep playing ball after high school.”

The Region III District 21 Cardinal team boasts a 21-3-1 season and goes into the playoffs this year at 9-1. Playoff games have been rescheduled due to school fears of the spread of swine flu. They are tentatively set to start on May 26 however, according to Bridge City Athletics Secretary Cil Dixon, this may change to May 25. She indicated that more information on the opponent, destination and a solid game date should be available at a later time. Also, the first week of games will see Bridge City with a bye, but team members are ready to play. This year’s unexpected alarm over illnesses has caused a few other changes in the upcoming games. “It is going to be different this year and we will only have one game for the playoffs when we used to have an option. Last year it was the best two out of three games,” commented Hubbard.

The number 82 state ranked troop is currently lead by Coach Chad Landry who came from the Hamshire-Fannett school district to replace Coach Billy Bryant. Landry spent five years as head coach to the Longhorn team and took them to the playoffs three of those years. The choice of Hubbard for an all-star position speaks highly of Landry’s coaching abilities. Slots for this type of team are chosen based on nominations entered by coaches and ultimately selected by a THSBCA committee. Hubbard made note, “Coach Landry has been great. He even makes the off time, like now, really enjoyable.
We play inner squad games with a white versus red team and the loser has to buy the winners dinner.”

“I think my leadership skills made Coach Landry nominate me. I did not know that I had even been a candidate until he told me on Monday that I was chosen for the team. My parents were very shocked and proud. They knew about Jackson and Dishon going in the past and knew that I would do well as an all star.”

Hubbard’s athletic career began when he was just a child. He started playing baseball at the YMCA in Nederland and continued playing in the Mid-County area through the pee wee baseball stage.

“I started in Little League and then Pony League once I came to Bridge City,” said a nonchalant Hubbard. From his comments, baseball seems to be his second nature.

Hubbard holds some impressive statistics for the 2008-2009 season with a batting average of .357. He also has an RBI standing of 16. April games also saw Hubbard with his only season home run against Hardin-Jefferson with a Cardinal 11-3 victory. In district play, Hubbard nears a whopping .600 average. 

With new coaches comes new training styles and Hubbard has noticed a slight difference in the way Landry directs the team. “He’s always teaching us to definitely get the small things right. He tells us to learn the bigger game and play small ball to get results. Anyone can make a really great hit every once in a while, but Coach keeps us focused on all the details.”

“I see myself as a competitive person. I have that sort of mind set when it comes to anything to do with the games, but I’m also very competitive in other aspects of my life.” Hubbard’s focus and attention to detail has paid off. He is ranked third in his class and plans to attend Lamar University in the fall on scholarship, as a Biology major. After earning his bachelor degree, Hubbard wants to attend medical school to become a radiologist. 

Whether working hard in the classroom or making a shining presence on the diamond, Hubbard plays the game as a well-trained and dedicated young man.