After having his freshman season at Singer wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tate Hess is making the most of a chance to play this summer and is spending this week playing in one of the country's most prestigious events, the New Balance Future Stars Series.
Hess began the summer with the Prodigy program but was added to Team Louisiana Ardoin for this event.
The team is 3-0 in pool play. Hess worked three innings on the mound in the first game, and walked and scored a run while playing first base Friday.
"I was on a team with Sam Ardoin (of Sam Houston, whose dad Danny Ardoin coaches Team Louisiana) a few years ago and have stayed in touch," Hess said. "They contacted me and gave me a chance to play in this tournament and I'm here. It has been great, I have enjoyed it. When I pitched I hit my spots pretty good, and my curveball was on point."
Hess said he has been making good progress during the summer.
"I have been doing well on the mound, maybe one or two bad outings but other than that pretty good," he said. "I'm up to 82-85 miles per hour, and can throw a changeup, curve and I am now working on a hard slider. It's coming pretty good. My fastball has a lot of arm-side run to it so I wanted to add something that breaks the other way."
Hess was a first-team all district and honorable mention all state honoree as an eighth grader. The Hornets played just one game this spring before the season was put on hold then canceled due to the pandemic. He hopes he can elevate the program in his remaining three seasons in Singer.
"We have about 11 or 12 in the baseball program last year," he said. "I would like to build that up, hopefully get to the point where we can bring something home. It's not the big sport in Singer. I fell in love with the game when I started pitching more. I knew that is what I wanted to do. You have command on the mound, you are the one in charge of the game. Trusting the defense behind you, that makes it a lot easier, especially here with Team Louisiana. I've been working on my hitting the past few years, building my arm strength up and playing all over the place, trying to experience the game as much as possible."
Hess also plays basketball at Singer, and was a member of the Hornets team that reached the Class C semifinals in 2018.
"I love it," Hess said of hoops. "We have a couple of talented kids. We have a chance to get back to state this year, we have four or five seniors. We have a lot of quickness on the team. In basketball, my attitude is my biggest strength. Most kids mentally break down but I stay with it. That helps me in baseball too. I'm trying to get to the next level any way I can.
Hess said he has already started receiving attention from colleges.
"It feels great and just makes me want to work harder, especially in the classroom," he said. I enjoy math, science and English. I like being at Singer. I know everybody in the school, we are all close. If I need something they are there for me and if I need something I know they will be there."