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Cathedral’s Garrity aims high on the field, in the classroom

Mary Kathryn Carpenter | Natchez Democrat Cathedral High School senior Thomas Garrity waits to begin baseball practice after school Wednesday. Garrity takes versatility to the next level as he juggles school and the sports he loves. He plays baseball and football and manages to maintain a 3.5 GPA.
Mary Kathryn Carpenter | Natchez Democrat
Cathedral High School senior Thomas Garrity waits to begin baseball practice after school Wednesday. Garrity takes versatility to the next level as he juggles school and the sports he loves. He plays baseball and football and manages to maintain a 3.5 GPA.

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School senior Thomas Garrity is competitive in every aspect of his life, and it’s a big reason why the pitcher and quarterback has exceled on every level.

Garrity has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career, not only because he wants to attend Mississippi State University to study biology in the fall, but because he wants to be the best in his class.

“I’m always trying to answer questions in class first, even if I’m wrong,” Garrity said. “My (biomedical research) teacher said I’m the most confident person in my answers even if they’re wrong. I want to be right even when I’m not right.”

In order to be the best, Garrity must go to practice from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and study from 6 to 10 p.m. each night during the week.

“It’s not easy,” Garrity said. “If anybody said it was, they’re lying. After four years of keeping good grades and playing sports, its not an easy thing to do, but my parents and my family push me.

“I have weekends where I try to get away from (school work), but baseball is my get away.”

Garrity, who is also senior class school treasurer, earned a 28 on the ACT, and has received academic scholarships such as the top award from the National Football Foundation and College of Fame Inc. Miss-Lou chapter banquet.

Garrity’s competitive nature has gained him enough scholarships to pay for his first year of college, he said.

That same competitiveness also led the Green Wave baseball team to the MHSAA Class 1A South State playoffs semifinals against French Camp this weekend.

Cathedral is just one of two area teams still playing in the playoffs and Garrity said it’s because his teammates are just as competitive.

“I hate losing, my coach hates losing and my teammates hate losing, so if we stick together, we’re not going to lose,” Garrity said. “When we’re playing out there and having fun, we’re going to win and I feel confident we’re going to make it far.”

As a pitcher on the mound, Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said Garrity must take that confidence and be a big leader on the field.

“He knows and understands the game, he understands the coaching side of the game and not just playing it,” Beesley said. “He can be a coach on the field and that’s what we expect out of him and that’s what we’re getting. We’re gelling as a team at the right time.”

Garrity said he takes full responsibility as the team’s leader.

“Leadership is not easy just like it isn’t easy (keeping up my grades) in the classroom, but it’s what I look forward to because I want to set an example for everyone out here,” he said.

In this leg of the season, Garrity said he likes to take each game one at a time to make sure his focus is fully on the opponent at hand and not on a potential title game three weeks away.

“It’s one game at a time,” he said. “Every time we win a game, we break it down to how many left then focus on the next game.”

Beesley said Garrity and his teammates represent Natchez in every game they play, and hope to represent Natchez in a title game.

“It gives us a sense of pride for Natchez and the Miss-Lou,” Beesley said. “Just like Natchez High School girls basketball brought the state championship home, hopefully we can bring one back in baseball.”

Garrity said he hopes to get a title before his high school career comes to an end, even if its means missing a very important day.

“The state championship is about the day we graduate,” Garrity said. “(If we make it), I’m definitely going to state, You ask any senior out here, if you never won a state championship, you’re going to go to the state championship. I’ll get my diploma the next day.”

Garrity is the son of Dr. Byron and Dorothy Garrity.

 

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