EDINBURG —Cesar Peña, Edinburg IDEA Quest’s head baseball coach, has been with the program since its inception in 2010.
The Trailblazers experienced defeat regularly as a relatively new team over the past 11 seasons, but this year they broke through by winning the District 31-3A championship, the first in program history.
“We’ve had many losing seasons, but this year is kind of special, especially for the kids this year with everything going on with the pandemic. We’re grateful to have a season, and not just to have a season, but to have some success here at this school,” Peña said. “They made history here at Quest after 11 years. They’ve worked hard and they’ve earned it. They didn’t do the impossible things, but they did the routine things. That’s what we’ve preached here.”
Through persistence and hard work, wins which were rare to come by during the early years of the program, began piling up this season as the Trailblazers (5-1) turned things around.
Now, Edinburg IDEA Quest hopes to kick down another door by winning its first playoff series in program history when it faces Santa Rosa in a one-game playoff at 6 p.m. Friday at La Villa High School.
Trailblazers junior first baseman/pitcher Kevin Macias is a three-year letterman, but his two older brothers both suited up for the program under Peña. While winning evaded them during their runs, the younger Macias is grateful to be a part of history.
“It was a big weight off my shoulders. I always wanted to bring a championship to this school, and the fact that I was able to do it with this group, it’s been very special to me,” Macias said. “My brothers always wanted to bring (Coach Peña) a championship. They told him how badly they wanted to win a championship. The fact that I’m able to keep my promise to him and my athletic coordinator feels great.”
While Edinburg IDEA Quest has qualified for the postseason seven years in a row, it’s been as a No. 4 seed, which has often resulted in a first-round playoff exit.
This year, the Trailblazers, led by Macias, freshman catcher/pitcher Mario Alberto Rodriguez Jr. and sophomore pitcher Jesus Mario Casas Garcia, are determined to continue writing history as they hunt the program’s first playoff series win.
“We’re trying to get through this first round, get a bi-district championship trophy and move on to the next step,” Rodriguez said.
“It’s going to take throwing strikes, making the routine play, covering each other and fighting through adversity in different innings. We have to execute at-bats and put the ball in play,” Peña said. “The most important thing I’ve learned growing up is making the routine play. During those losing seasons, when you don’t make that routine play, the innings keep going. We’re going to have to do everything fundamentally sound, and that’s the attitude we’re going to take into Friday night.”