With his senior baseball season still hanging in the balance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate baseball player Cass Flores found an opportunity to play baseball collegiately. On Friday, April 3, C. Flores signed his Letter of Intent (LOI) to continue his baseball career at North American University (NAU) in Stafford, TX.
Heading into his final season of high school baseball, C. Flores was determined to have a strong season in an effort to strengthen his recruiting profile and help the Pirates clinch a playoff berth for the first time in since 2017.
Then, after opening the district season with a win over Ingleside, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) suspended all activity due to the spread of the Coronavirus.
Since then, the UIL has suspended all activity until May 4.
While the UIL holds out hope that it can finish out the remaining sports being played at the time of suspension, many seniors such as C. Flores are losing out on a year of valuable tape used in their recruitment to play sports collegiately.
However, in what took less than a week, C. Flores found an opportunity with NAU and signed his LOI to play college baseball.
C. Flores discovered the NAU baseball program and got in contact with head coach Justin Salge about playing there.
NAU is in the inaugural stages of its baseball program and Salge is the programs first ever head coach.
After reviewing Flores’ recruiting profile, Salge was interested. A few phone conversations later, Salge extended Flores an offer to play baseball at NAU. This process for Flores only lasted about a week.
“I’m so excited. It’s like a huge relief off my shoulders,” said C. Flores.
C. Flores signed his LOI in his backyard surrounded by family.
RFHS Head Baseball Coach Arturo Elizondo is excited C. Flores will get the opportunity to continue playing baseball collegiately.
“He just works hard and he deserves it. I’m pretty excited he’s been able to do this,” said Elizondo. “I know he went to a couple showcases last summer and was looking about going to school in Dallas. But this opportunity opened up, he reached out to the school and the guy liked him, which is awesome.”
C. Flores’ parents were surprised by how quickly the process went, but are happy to see their son continue his baseball career.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Cass’s father, Vincent Flores. “I feel bad for all these seniors … We had that big win over Ingleside, and then boom, the Coronavirus hit … And all of a sudden this (Flores signing) comes out of the blue. It’s been wild, but we’re happy he gets to play close to home.”
The NAU baseball program’s inaugural class will all redshirt their first year. They’ll then begin competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for the 2021-22 season, joining the Red River Athletic Conference.