MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Midland High and Midland College alum Ethan Barker is taking his baseball talents to the University of Tennessee. As Barker gets ready to start his next chapter in just a few short weeks, he credits growing up on the diamond here in Midland for helping turn his childhood dream of playing at a division one school into reality.
"I feel like it lasted two seconds. Just the other day I was reporting with Coleman as head coach. Just like that it's over and moving on to what I have next in life," said Barker.
Before playing at Midland College, the Tall City native enjoyed four years as a Midland High Bulldog.
"It was a memorable four years there. I wouldn't have wanted to play high school baseball with anyone else. Two of my cousins were on the state championship team. Getting to grow up and watch them get all the way to the state championship and growing up knowing I'll get to play for them was really neat," said Barker.
Looking back at his senior year self, Barker realized that starting off his collegiate career at Midland College was the best thing for his success.
"It kicked me in the teeth just going from high school to junior college. I developed much more as a player from my senior year in high school to now. It's night and day for sure," said Barker.
For Barker, being back at Christensen Stadium made him reflect and look back at his time as a Chaparral.
"I was really sad after the first week, but I've kind of gotten over it a little bit. Every time I pass by I think of all the memories I've had for the last two years. All the teammates and coaches it was a really special time. The fact that it was all right here in my hometown, I didn't have to go anywhere," said Barker.
Barker's ultimate goal on his next step in his baseball career is to soak it all in and not take it for granted.
"I think that's your whole purpose in life is to find something you enjoy and to go do it. That's what I'm trying to do here. See how far I can run with it and see how long it can last and actually do something that I enjoy in life," said Barker.
Barker plans to make his way to Tennessee in just a few week with his family.