Mr. Baseball: Rio Hondo’s Andy Vasquez solidifies his future by signing with Austin College

RIO HONDO — There’s no doubt about it, Rio Hondo’s Andy Vasquez is an all-around athlete. But that’s only a fraction of what makes him a star around campus.

He he is an iron man behind the plate as the Bobcats starting catcher, he’s got an easy-going demeanor that makes him well liked, and he has a caring nature that allows him to put team first.

“He’s one kid that is the face of the program,” said Rio Hondo head baseball coach Sergio Gonzalez. “He’s been a four-year starter for me and I have a very close relationship with him, and I think it stems primary from where he plays. He’s a general on the field and I have complete trust in him. He’s one that I’m going to miss for a very long time once he graduates this year.”

On the baseball field, he’s nearing his 100th game behind the plate and with it has come a slew of accolades.

As a sophomore he made the all-district honorable mention list, as a junior he was named to the second team all-district team as well as the academic first team.

However, Vasquez is also known for his defensive nature on the football field, grabbing all-district first team defensive honors this past season.

And just a few few days ago, Vazquez, solidified his future by signing his letter of intent to play football for Austin College in Sherman.

“Signing was a big step toward my future,” said Vasquez. “It really determines what I’ll be doing moving forward. When I went to visit, I got to meet all the players and all the coaches, and they showed me around and really welcomed me, and made me feel comfortable and made me feel at home.

“It’s a great private school that is really known for its academics, so I’m super excited to get started.”

Q: How did you fist get started in baseball?

A: My parents put me in Little League and I would practice day in and day out.

Q: You have more than 90 starts as a catcher for the baseball team. Does it even feel like you have played that many games?

A: No it doesn’t; I felt like last year was my freshman year. I’ve had so much fun here at Rio Hondo that it doesn’t feel like another day of practice. I get excited knowing that we have games and practices after school, and have a team that wants the same desires as I do.

Q: This is your senior season. What are you going to miss most about playing at Rio Hondo?

A: The brotherhood we have for one another and by that I mean picking each other up when one is down, motivating each other to do better each and every day, and the fight Rio Hondo always puts up until the game is over.

Q: If you could play for any professional team who would it be for and why?

A: The Texas Rangers or Houston Astros. I’ve always watched and admired how they both play as a team and also do it while having fun.

Q: What was the best advice you were given as an athlete?

A: To prove everyone wrong. I was always told that I couldn’t do certain things and I set a fire in myself to prove whoever had doubted me wrong, and for them to watch me succeed.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring kids looking to get into baseball?

A: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take so there’s no loss in trying out a different sport. To this day, I’m still learning about the game and how the game works so, yes, definitely give baseball a chance; it’s challenging.

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?

A: I would probably sit down with Adolf Hitler and question him on why he did the things he did, and how his childhood affected the decisions that he made.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from asking your coach?

A: That I’m a clean freak and have to match my outfit every single day. I like to see everything nice and neat, and be super organized.

Q: Would you rather live for a week in the past or the future?

A: I would rather live another week in the past to change the way I thought things out and make a bigger impact on what I could have done, and do it at the right time. I don’t want a spoiler alert by going into the future.

Q: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

A: Just do it. Do whatever makes you happy, do an extra rep for the person who said you couldn’t do it, do it for your teammates and sacrifice yourself for the team to win at the end of the day.