JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School graduate Carson Bowen will play baseball for North Central Texas College.
The program celebrated his signing with new Mustangs head baseball coach Tim Hulon and former Marble Falls head coach J.T. Blair on Aug. 8.
Bowen, who will be an outfielder, said the decision to become a Lion at the Gainesville college was easy after he received a full scholarship.
He is a four-year All-District 25-4A athlete who tore anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees. The first one was during the 2011-2012 school year, while the other occurred in fall 2013.
“At first, it’s pretty hard,” Bowen said. “But once you come back from it, you feel more accomplished. I came back once stronger and better than ever. And I felt like I was letting more than myself down if I didn’t try one more time.”
Blair called Bowen earning a college scholarship after having two knee surgeries “a feat in itself.”
“Watching him rehab by himself gave him a chance to appreciate what it’s like to be healthy,” Blair said. “It allowed him to develop his upper body. I thought he was ahead of the game.”
Playing for the Mustangs made him work hard, he said, because of the level of competition within the program and in District 25-4A.
He said playing baseball also taught him a lesson he has applied to his life.
“It’s never as good as it seems, it’s never as bad as it seems,” he said.
The son of Ronnie and Karon Bowen is undecided on a major.
Blair noted that he and Hulon each have young sons.
“There’s nobody else I can think of that’s a better role model for my son,” he said. “I hope my son grows up to be just like Carson.”
Bowen is the seventh Mustang in two years to earn a college scholarship. The others include class of 2013 graduates Stacy Heinatz and Cole Ridgely (both to McLennan College) and Joey Blackledge (Brookhaven College) and class of 2014 graduates Domenic Patterson (Weatherford College), Garrett Winslett (North Lake College) and Cullen Vaught (Texas Christian).
“I didn’t have nearly as much to do with that as much as it was just a good group of kids,” Blair said. “For Carson, the best is yet to come. He’s the best outfielder I’ve ever coached. He’ll play there for two years and then go to Texas Tech or Oklahoma. The Big 12 is where he’s headed.”