Diego Cervantez made statewide headlines last year when he tied a Kansas state record with two grand slams in a game for the Valley Falls High School baseball team against Troy as a junior in 2019. The record tied Tramer Ray (Medicine Lodge 1999) and Derek Layton (Wellsville 2011). Cervantez had nine RBI in the game as he went 3-of-5 from the plate with the two grand slams.
Now a year later, he won’t have an opportunity to play baseball his senior season due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of all spring sports in Kansas. Cervantez is never the biggest athlete on the playing field at 5-foot-7 and 135-pounds but it hasn’t stopped him from being an all-league and all-state selection for his high school in baseball. Cervantez plays short stop, pitcher and catcher for the Dragons.
Cervantez entered his senior season on several career leaders list that will now never get to be improved with the lost season. Cervantez had 62 career hits (11th all-time at VF) and had 25 hits in each of the last two seasons. He also finished with 59 RBI in his three years as a starter, 27 of those coming last season. Cervantez is very disciplined at the plate only striking out 17 times in his career with only striking out three times last season.
Diego also gets it done in the classroom with a 3.7 GPA and his favorite subject is math. He plans to study Kinesiology. He also plays football and basketball where he was an all-league honorable mention selection in both. He also holds the school record for most tackles in a game with 22.
Like many high school athletes, it was a last chance at playing baseball for Cervantez this season as he will go to college at Kansas State as just a student next fall.
Valley Falls had much more than just Cervantez and was expecting big years out of Lucas Welborn, Cooper Jepson, Tyler Lockhart, Drew Pickerell and Dylan Cervantez for head coach Cameron Hall. Welborn was also on many of the career leaderboards and started every game of his high school career for Valley Falls with 13 homer runs and 92 RBI w/ a .376 average.
Q&A w/ Cervanez
How did you get involved in sports?
I have always enjoyed playing sports and at a young age was always at the softball fields with my parents.
Biggest accomplishment off the field/court?
Graduating High School
What were your goals this season?
Win League in Baseball and make a run in the state tournament.
Also wanted to make 1st Team All State
What makes you such a force as an athlete?
I am a hard worker
What’s it like to play multiple sports?
It’s hard to stay focused at time as there is no time off and not a lot of time between seasons.
Explain the heartbreak it was like to hear that the senior season in sports is cut short?
Baseball is my favorite sport. I was looking forward to this season as we had set goals and I felt we could accomplish those goals. I was devastated when I learned I would not get to play, but I was also upset that I would not get to play with my younger brother who is freshman.
I plan on attending Kansas State to major in Kinesiology
What is your best sport?
What’s the atmosphere like to play for your school and town?
There is always a lot of support.
Who were other key players on your team(s)?
Lucas Welborn, Cooper Jepson, Tyler Lockhart, Drew Pickerell, and Dylan Cervantez
Favorite thing about sports you play?
Spending time with my friends and doing something we all like to do.
What is it like to play for your coaches?
We not only learned about the game, but learned life lessons as well.
How much preparation had you put into sports?
I play sports all year round, I put in extra work outside of practice, and I encourage my teammates to do the same.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I will be attending Kansas State University in the fall.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Hang out with friends
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working in my field of study, and hopefully married!
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
Math – 3.7 GPA
Who is your role model?
When I was younger it was my older cousin Brock Watson as I liked to watch him play sports and wanted to be like him.
Today I still look up to Brock, but also have much respect for my grandfather Ron Watson who has taught me a lot about sports and life.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
What would you say to the underclassmen out there right now reading this?
Enjoy the time you have in high school as you never know when it might be over!
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
Chocolate is my weakness, and I weighed 10 lbs when I was born.
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