FORNEY — To an eighth grader, seniors in high school are a really big deal.
That's why it's meant so much to Conner Rowe that the baseball players at Forney have gone out of their way to make him feel special.
"They told me that over spring break I would be throwing out the first pitch to one of their games," said Connor, who goes to Warren Middle School. "I was really excited."
Connor has the baseball from that day, and another one given to him by third baseman Trey Bedrick after Bedrick hit the first home run of the season.
"I was just thinking about it and how hard it is to go through something like that," Bedrick said. "It was the first thing that came to my mind, something so simple. It could have made his day."
Conner's mother, Holly Rowe, died in February after a battle with cancer. He and his father Scott Rowe, who is an assistant principal at Forney High School, have relied on the support of the community and the high school.
Four of the baseball players came to Scott to ask whether Connor could throw out the first pitch, and to give him the home run ball.
"As an assistant principal, my contact with a lot of these kids is, 'Hey, you're supposed to be doing this, you're supposed to be doing that,'" Scott Rowe said. "So I was really overwhelmed how much they were thinking about me and my family at the time."
"It felt good doing something special for him, and maybe being able to take away the pain," said Forney pitcher Javi Eguin.
A couple of small gestures have left a big impression on Connor.
"It wasn't just any home run, I mean, it's the first one of the season — his senior season," Connor said. "So it means a lot, because most people would rather keep that, memories from high school. But he just felt the need to give it to me, and I'm really thankful for that."