The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Valley Ventana’s weekly Connections game: Week of April 22. Photo via Canva
Connections: Week of April 22
Valley Ventana, Staff • April 23, 2024
Wrestling coach Tim Clarkson was named the 5A Region IV Coach of the Year by his peers. Music by MorningLightMusic on YT
Wrestling coach named tops for Region IV 5A
April 22, 2024
Junior Sayers Allen poses for a photo at the golf region competition on April 17. Photo via SVHS Golf.
Swinging it into high gear
Grayson Cook, Staff Writer • April 19, 2024
In Comal school district, 22.0% of students are eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced price meal program, making the federal nutrition program a necessity. Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.
Texas should adopt federal nutrition program
Bethany Mann, Editor-in-Chief • April 18, 2024
Olivia Fuentes will play beach volleyball at Tarleton University in the fall after signing on April 17.
Photo by Daniel Grant
Toe the sign
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • April 18, 2024

‘You don’t want to say goodbye’

Texas State baseball commit Zach Gingrich highlights his senior year
Danny Grant
Texas State baseball commit Zach Gingrich screams on the sideline with joy during the Boerne Champion game.

A chance to play in Fenway Park and the 5A Built Ford Tough Player of the Week – senior Zach Gingrich has had a busy fall.

While both might be hard to top, the two-sport athlete inked his commitment on Nov. 8 to play baseball at Division I Texas State University, extending his athletic career into college.

An outfielder and right-handed pitcher, Gingrich was invited to play at the Future Stars Series Main Event Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Fenway Park.

“You can feel the energy in the park,” Gingrich said. “It just radiates off the stadium.”

In spring 2023, Gingrich and his baseball teammates were 2023 area champions under the charge of head baseball coach Chad Koehl.

“Zach has done nothing but improve physically and mentally in the game of baseball since the first day he set foot on the field,” Koehl said. “His work ethic toward the game has been a huge part of this.” 

On the football field, the defensive back was named the Class 5A Week 10 Built Ford Tough Player of the Week after the team defeated Hays 47-10. In that game, he had two interceptions, one a return for a touchdown, and a blocked punt for a touchdown. His highlight was the pick six, his second score of the game.

“I thought, ‘Man, I’m lucky.’ I was grateful to be able to do that at home in front of all the people there at the stadium and those that know me,” he said. 

Koehl has not been surprised by the accolades and successes.

“Zach is a tremendous leader on and off the field,” Koehl said. “He excels in two venues at this school and is an unquestioned leader in both baseball and football.”

For Gingrich, family helped him choose the school that was right for him.

“It’s close to home so I can be with my family,” Zach said. “I’ve got a younger sister, and I didn’t want to feel like I would be out of her life. There’s a lot of high school sports for her to be in, and I want to be there for her.”

His dad Jess played at Texas Lutheran University and started coaching him when he was little. As Gingrich moved up, they would talk about baseball and he would give Zach advice.

 “They’re like my best friends,” Zach said when asked about his parents. 

Now, Gingrich and his football team are headed to an area showdown with Magnolia West at 7 p.m. Friday in Temple.

“I have been looking forward to this the whole season,” he said. “You go to practice focused because this could be your last week. It’s great to be with teammates you don’t want to say goodbye to.”







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