Sometimes the most important member of the team isn’t a player.
That’s the case at TCU, where the baseball team received news prior to getting ready to face Texas A&M in the NCAA Super Regionals at College Station this weekend.
Micah Ahern, a 7-year old Arlington boy who the team signed to an honorary scholarship in 2014, is struggling in his battle against neuroblastoma, a cancer found commonly in the adrenal glands that mostly affects children under the age of 10. Micah's family posted on social media Monday night that the cancer has progressed and he will soon go into hospice.
“His motto is never, ever give up, so we’re not going to do that, regardless of what the prognosis is," TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "He truly is a part of everything we do, whether he’s here or not, and that won’t change.”
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The team wore the letter “M” on their hats during practice Tuesday as a reminder of Micah and the battle he’s going through.
“Micah just lets us know that it can be here today, gone tomorrow,” catcher Evan Skoug said. “Our problems may seem bad to us at the time but if we look at it in the scope of things, what he’s going through is unbelievable and he’s just a source of motivation for us.”
The program has become very close to Micah and his family over the years. The team continues to rally around their youngest recruit.
Pitcher Mitchell Traver said he and his family are very close to Micah.
“We’ve been praying for him for a very long time and, for me, my faith is my foundation, so it hits very close to home," he said. "I think it encourages us to play harder. I think it encourages us to embrace the moment, understanding there is way more than baseball.”
Schlossnagle said he wasn't surprised by the impact Micah and his family had on the program.
“The No. 1 core value of our program is selfless. This life is not about you, it’s about what you can do for other people," he said. "From the second we met that little guy and his family in the fall of 2013, he has been absolutely 100 percent a part of everything we do.”
TCU plays Texas A&M at 8 p.m. Friday in College Station.