Thursday – July 8 – Sam Blancato

This is my second year with the Piedmont Pride. I had the awesome opportunity to play with the Pride last year despite everyone battling Covid-19. I was a late addition to the team and I wouldn’t trade last summer for anything. This summer when Coach Hudak asked me if I wanted to come back to play for him again, I said yes without any hesitation. I love the way Coach takes summer ball seriously, but I think it was even more important that I come back so I can further grow my faith and relationship with Christ. It has been a blessing being able to grow my faith with such great teammates and coaches by my side every step of the way, and I would not be where I am at today with my relationship with Christ if it was not for them. We have been down in the Dominican Republic for around a week now, and my whole worldview has changed tremendously. We have been able to go to a Girls’ and Boys’ orphanage, and to see what little they own but to still see the biggest smiles on their faces reminds me to always be thankful for what I have. My favorite experience so far down in the Dominican Republic was when we went to our interpreter’s village where he grew up. It was a heartwarming experience to see the impact Kike has had on his community and to be able to hand out food bags to his neighbors and close friends was an experience I will never forget. The trip as a whole has been a blast through and through, and I am so grateful that Coach Hudak put together such a great trip for us. This trip for me has been life changing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Another amazing aspect of the trip is we have a players only bible study every morning. It is one of my favorite things to do because it is a great way to start off the day, and it has brought our team closer through our faith, and that means more to me than any of the baseball games that we have been playing.