Hello, My Name Is: Mateo Lopez
After an exceptional athletic career, Lopez bids goodbye on the diamond for Abbotsford/Colby
ABBOTSFORD, Wis. (WSAW) - It can be hard to say goodbye. Colby senior Mateo Lopez is experiencing that firsthand as his senior year in high school starts to draw to a close.
“It’s very weird. I’m not ready for it at all,” said Lopez. “For four years, I’ve had football, basketball, baseball, and now I’m just, going to have nothing, after this, which kind of sucks, but it’s just part of growing up.”
It’s an understandable range of emotions for Lopez, considering the achievements in his athletic career. As a junior, he helped Colby win a state title in football. This last year, he helped Colby to share the conference title and was a NewsChannel 7 All-Star. In basketball, he helped the Hornets clinch a share of their first conference title since 2011. Lastly, in baseball, he and Abbotsford/Colby are looking for their third straight conference crown to end his career.
”I was more than excited to be playing baseball again, but then it’s like, once this is over, it’s over,” said Lopez. “Right now, I’m just trying to cherish every moment we get and just have fun with it.”
Ending with baseball is fitting, as it’s perhaps Lopez’s best. Last year, he hit .448 for Abby/Colby while pitching to a 1.05 ERA. His efforts earned him first-team all-conference honors.
”I try not to think about my personal stats too much,” said Lopez. “Obviously, I want to perform as best as I possibly can, but it’s more of a team game for me. Just winning in general, doing whatever I can do to help win.”
While for most of his high school competition, Lopez sported the Colby green and gold. However, for baseball, he throws on the Abby/Colby black and red. It’s not an oddity to him, as he’s become like family with those who hail from Abbotsford.
“It’s just Abbotsford/Colby. We’re right next to each other so it’s just always been Abbotsford to me,” said Lopez. “It’s never been a rival or anything. I’m pretty much best friends with all these guys and I love these guys so it just feels like it’s home here.”
His home-away-from-home in Abbotsford has been a place of success. While he hopes to help lead the team to their third straight conference title, it would also be his third conference title in his senior season across all sports he plays.
”That’s the biggest goal coming into my senior year was making sure we had it in basketball this year and then football we wanted to get it and then baseball,” said Lopez. “That’s going to be very special for me to go out with three conference championships.”
Lopez’s competitive drive is infectious throughout the team, a group that feels the same way about him.
“I love competing with him. I love being his teammate,” said Abby/Colby junior JV Castillo. “He helps his team out. He’s a hard worker and I just love being around him. He’s a great guy to be around.”
As Lopez looks back on everything throughout his athletic career, it’s the camaraderie of baseball that he’ll miss most about the final sports season of his high school run.
“I absolutely love these guys and they’re such a blast to hang out with and play every day,” said Lopez. “We get to come and have fun and play baseball, a sport that we all love and it’s just winning is fun with it too. I just love these guys and it’s fun to play with these guys
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