Edward Waters Baseball Senior Spotlight: Manuel Guerra

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NAIA/GCAC/A.I.I./Baseball

 

Edward Waters Sports Information

 

Jacksonville, Florida – Installment #4 of our Spring Sports Senior Spotlight takes us to the baseball diamond where we will learn more about pitcher Manuel Guerra. The senior was in the middle of his most successful season in Purple & Orange prior to the abrupt end of the season do to the coronavirus pandemic, as he recorded a team best 4.66 ERA and 31 strikeouts in six appearances, resulting in an Association of Independent Institutions All-Conference nod. In this installment, we wil learne about how Guerra’s faith has helped him in the classroom, on the mound, and in his everyday life.

Q: What made EWC the best place for you to continue your baseball career coming out of high school?

A: Coming out of high school one of the only coaches that saw my potential was (EWC Head) Coach Reggie (Johnson) and he gave me an opportunity and I took it.

Q: How did it feel to have an opportunity to play college baseball in your hometown?

A: Playing college baseball in Jacksonville was extremely fun. It made me appreciate Jacksonville more due to the culture I was exposed to at EWC.

Q: What’s your major and what do you plan to do with your degree after graduation?

A: I’m majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. I plan to continue my education and get a masters in Leadership and Evangelism, while working in the Communications field at the same time.

Q: Did you play any other sports growing up and what made you decide on baseball?

A: Never played anything other then baseball, I love all sports, but coming from Cuba, baseball was my whole life.

Q: Who were your favorite athletes growing up and why?

A: My favorite athlete came when I got to The United States and I started playing on this team called the Red Sox at Hendricks Avenue. My teammates begin to call me Manny because it was easier to pronounce then Manuel my actual name. So I begin watching the Red Sox and fell in live with Manny Ramírez and David Ortiz because of that.

Q: What was your favorite memory as a baseball student-athlete at EWC?

A: My favorite memories as a student athlete have to be the conversations, the knowledge gained from them, the late nights in the gym working out with teammates, the long bus rides, the playoff atmosphere and what that always felt like, not many people would come, but it felt like a it was a sold out stadium for me, some of my conversations with Coach Reggie and (Assistant) Coach Rey (Otero), I’ll just always hold all of those thing close to my heart.

Q: You were in the midst of having a fantastic season so far, resulting in an All-Conference nod from the A. I. I. How did it feel to close your career with that selection?

A: Honestly it sounds cliche to say but I could care less about any awards, I set out to win, it never mattered to me weather I had gotten scored on 10 times if the ball game was 8-10 and we were losing but it was the 4th inning or the 5th inning I knew we had a chance and I had to put a stop to the bleeding to give our offense a chance, that was always my goal keep the offense in it and do whatever it takes to win, from game to game doing whatever it takes look different every time.

Q: Did you think when you walked off of the field against Toccoa Falls that it would be your last time playing college baseball?

A: Absolutely not, I thought I’d be able to pitch again, but i have no regrets I’m true to me and I know I gave this game everything I had.

Q: What songs are on your Quarantine playlist?

A: “For Your Glory” by Tasha Cobbs

Q: Is there anything that you have learned so far in regards to this global epidemic with COVID-19 and will it cause you to change anything in your life?

A: As of right now I’m just focused on being present in this moment and not taking this time alone for granted. My parents are essential so they work all day and I’m home alone, get my school work done and spend the rest of my day working on me that looks like reading my Bible, praying, listening to positivity, and obviously I have to play some MLB The Show 20 with my guys as well.

Q: What words of advice do you have for the next group of young men that will play baseball for EWC next season?

A: The only words of advice I have for those young men is as an athlete, don’t let your age or anything discourage you from being a leader on your team. But, understand leadership is all about serving. Serve your teammates, your coaches, and your team, or everyone will appreciate it but you don’t do it for them you do it for the people that do and for the big picture which is winning baseball games and being a great person. As a student, just remember you’ll have times where you don’t feel like it and you feel over school, but remember baseball is a privilege and that alone should keep you going. No grades, no baseball. As a person, the most important one I believe, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you to be able to live free of sin and of any condemnation, he absolutely loves you, and he wants a relationship with you, with him and his word rooted in you, you can’t go wrong.

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