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members of the Plano East JV2 Baseball team (freshmen & sophomores from McMillen & Williams high schools)

It usually takes a lot of encouragement to get teenaged boys up before 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Yet several dozen young men in the Plano East Senior High School Baseball Program were on-site bright and early Saturday, October 1, to help unload a truck full of pumpkins and gourds for the annual Murphy Road Baptist Church Pumpkin Patch. While waiting for the truck, the young men even helped fill in a drainage ditch for the church.

“We like to put these guys in situations to give back and serve others,” explained Plano East Head Baseball Coach Jordan Byrd. “Teaching them to be servants first makes them better teammates and, more importantly, better young men. We’re more interested in building great leaders than just great ball players. Our goal is to inspire them so they’ll want to serve wherever they go, even after graduation.”

Unfortunately, the truck broke down enroute to the church and arrived several hours late. But, while about half the team had to leave for a Junior Varsity fall baseball game against Frisco Heritage at Plano East, young men from the Varsity and JV2 teams patiently waited and helped unload the truck once it arrived.

“Next week we’ll have some of our players at area elementary schools,” Coach Byrd said. “They’ll be opening doors in the dropoff line and reading to kindergarten and first grade students. We want to show the next generation of ball players how to be men of character.”

The Plano East Baseball program is under the direction of Head Coach Jordan Byrd, Assistant Varsity Coach Scott Cattleman, Junior Varsity Head Coach Michael Martinez, Assistant Junior Varsity Coach John Lubow, McMillen Head Coach Cole McLean, McMillen Assistant Coach DeMarcus Mathes, Williams Head Coach Shane Kevlar and Williams Assistant Coach Efe Osawemwenze. For more information, go to