Mingus Union High School alum Erick Quesada will look to carry his baseball career to Western Oregon University.
Quesada graduated Mingus in 2011, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. The following year, he attended Arizona State University but didn't play any sports. The past two years, he played baseball for Chandler- Gilbert Community College.
Quesada said his years playing at Mingus were full of memories.
"That was the best time of my life," Quesada said. "Playing sports with all my friends. I miss playing football. Nothing beats a Friday night in Cottonwood, playing in front of the whole town pretty much."
Quesada said the local support from the city helped motivate him and the team.
"It's so nice to have a community like Cottonwood, where so many people are always rooting for you."
Although he has moved on, Quesada said he will always remember his time as a Marauder.
"I'll never forget my time at Mingus," he said. "Playing for and learning from coach (Bob) Young, I can't thank him enough. It was an amazing ride."
After playing three sports at Mingus, Quesada only played baseball at Chandler-Gilbert. During the year he didn't play sports while attending ASU, Quesada said he realized that it was the wrong decision.
"About half way through, I realized I made a big mistake," Quesada said. "I could have played at Cochise College in Douglas for baseball. I just emailed schools trying to get back into playing baseball."
Bob Young, Quesada's baseball and football coach at Mingus, said Quesada is a rare kind of athlete who can miss a whole year, but not miss a step.
"He's athletic enough that he can miss a year and still be that good," Young said.
As far as a baseball player, Young said Quesada is a natural athlete.
"You can't teach athleticism and a great arm," Young said.
Although baseball has become his primary sport, Young said Quesada was primarily a basketball player when he first started high school.
"He came in as a freshman and was mainly a basketball player; he loved basketball," Young said. "By his sophomore year, we talked him into playing football and baseball. By the time he was a senior, he was one of the very best athletes in his whole class."
Despite his athletic ability, Young said Quesada still works just as hard as he always has.
"I admire him for his work ethic," Young said. "He just continues to work to get better."
Quesada said he is looking forward to playing for Western Oregon and he thinks it will be a great fit.
"Western Oregon is a great program. They have won their conference 13 years in a row," Quesada said.
It is likely that Western Oregon won't be the final baseball destination for Quesada. Several Major League Baseball teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies have talked to him. Young said he thinks Quesada has what it takes to play at that level.