On front of the batting cage at Serra are the names of 58 former Padre baseball players who have gone on to sign professional contracts with Major League Baseball teams.
The likes of Barry Bonds, Gregg Jeffries and Tony Renda are just a few of the names that represent one of the best high school baseball programs in the nation in the professional ranks. Soon, the name of current Serra star Sean Watkins could land on the hallowed batting cage.
“My goal at Serra is to someday bring my kids over to school and show them my picture up on the wall for the Serra Hall of Fame,” Watkins said.
On the heels of a performance in which he pitched a six-inning no-hitter with 14 strikeouts for the San Mateo Shockers, Watkins has been the center of attention for baseball on the Peninsula. His incredible performance last Saturday resulted in him receiving his sixth Division I baseball scholarship offer — this time from the University of California-Berkeley, who were on hand to witness Watkins absolutely dominate the Redwood City Blues in the championship game of the American Legion Area 2 tournament.
Arriving at this sudden position of intense admiration by college scouts hasn’t been easy. When Watkins isn’t throwing a baseball around, he spends his time in the gym getting stronger, bigger and pushing himself to be the best that he can be.
“I’m like a gym rat in the gym and I’m always getting myself stronger or faster when I workout,” Watkins said. “My goal in the offseason is to be better than I was the year before and by doing that, it takes hard work inside the gym to prepare myself for the upcoming season.”
Amidst all his sudden stardom, Watkins remains focused on one thing — the team. Whether it’s on the diamond for Serra or for the Shockers, Watkins understands the importance of being a team player. Currently that team-first, winning mentality of Watkins’ resides in the dugout of the Shockers, a dugout that’s feeling extremely good about their play.
After a three game stretch in the local regional playoffs in which they dismantled their opposition, outscoring them by a total of 47-0, the Shockers and Watkins’ next objective is to take home an American Legion state championship.
“The next step for the Shockers is winning a state title, it’s that simple,” Watkins said.
While aspiring to win a championship is one thing, going out and actually getting it done on the field is another. On that note, the Shockers do have the capabilities to go out and achieve their lofty goal. With Watkins, an explosive lineup and a consistent bullpen, San Mateo will be a challenge for any team that takes them on. Whether it’s Derek Merryweather, Nick Waldsmith or Jason Marley, the entire Shockers lineup is something opposing pitchers dread to face.
The road to a state championship begins today at the Veterans’ Home in Yountville where leaving with anything short of a state championship will be considered unacceptable to such a talented team.