Brawley standout signs with New Mexico State University to play baseball
BRAWLEY, Calif., (KYMA, KECY) - A familiar name spread throughout the Brawley community over the last several years for his excellence on the football and baseball field has been Tanner Carranza.
While Carranza may be known as a standout athlete, according to many, he is an even better person and student - and on Wednesday all of that came to fruition by signing to continue his athletic and academic journey at the Division I level.
In front of a packed crowd inside Brawley's gymnasium, Carranza was celebrated as he put pen to paper to become the next New Mexico State Aggie on the baseball diamond.
And it was an emotional day for Tanner who shed a few happy tears when addressing the crowd, thanking his family and everyone who helped him get to this point.
A dream come true for a kid built from a baseball family.
"Happy would be the main word right now. It's just something that I always tried to strive for to be able to play Division I baseball," said Tanner. "Both of my brothers played college baseball, so it's always been a goal for me and I'm proud I was able to do that."
His brother Tristan also played at New Mexico State and his other brother Tennessee played at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. But even more fitting, it was his father that showed him the ropes and was his head coach throughout his life.
"Having my dad as my coach has been a blessing and as you can ask any of my teammates, harder on me than most people," said Tanner with a smile on his face. "I'm just glad we were able to share this moment together today."
A moment created by the hard work Tanner put forth in his journey on the diamond - one that began as a freshman playing varsity ball. But it was his senior campaign that changed everything for his future.
Tanner hit a blistering .486 at the plate, driving in 32 runs and hitting three homers - also being a horse behind the plate as the Wildcats catcher.
And it was his throwing arm from behind the dish that has stood out to some, including his assistant coach and math teacher, Lawrence Landy who told a great story of the time when another catcher from a different school who had a full-ride to Stanford told Tanner he wish he had an arm like him.
"If any of you came out to see him play, his arm is something special," said Landy. "You don't see it very often. In my roughly 20 years of coaching high school, I don't recall seeing a catcher being able to throw the ball like this young man."
But outside of baseball, Tanner has thrived in the classroom - something both Landy and his father Pedro explained was the reason he was able to rise to the Division I ranks. His keen eye and commitment to math especially has been a sight to see.
Tanner also received much praise from his football coach, Jon Self, who explained how much he has grown over the last four years - just adding to the long list of people that Tanner left a mark on.
"Thank you to everyone who's been on my journey," added Tanner. "I didn't do it by myself and I couldn't have done it without them."