Westwood High School freshman Aaron Makil, a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, started out his high-school baseball career on the freshman team. But after playing six games, he was moved up to the varsity team.
“I was surprised that I was picked to play on the varsity team,” Makil said. “I wasn’t expecting to be brought up so early. I thought I would only play a few games on the varsity team, but I ended up playing 12.
“It was a challenge at first—I had to get used to it, but towards the end I started seeing better pitching and seeing the team really play because it was around playoffs. It was fun.”
Makil played shortstop and pitched once during this year’s season. He said the best game he played in terms of getting hits was against McClintock at home. “Defense-wise, it was against Desert Vista, which was on Senior Night,” said Makil.
The Westwood Warriors varsity baseball team ended the season with a record of 13-14, winning their last game against Desert Vista 5-4 on Wednesday, April 24.
Makil plans on continuing to play on the Westwood team for the next three years. He also will be playing summer ball with Westwood and participating in the NABI baseball and basketball tournaments.
“Keep working and set your goals high. If you set them low, you will reach them, but you have to challenge yourself,” advised Makil to younger students who are interested in baseball. “Playing for city and city public school teams, it’s a lot harder skill-wise. They are lot more athletic and focus on the fundamentals.”
Makil would like to thank his mom, dad, uncle Ryan and his family for their support. He also thanks his club coaches, “who taught me pretty much everything I know in the game of baseball.”
“We are very proud of him for getting promoted to the varsity team during his first year of high school,” said Makil’s Aunt Mary Andrews. “We will continue to support in any way that we can whether he is playing school, rez, or club baseball. Way to go Aaron LaVar Makil.”