MP Hall of Famers Seasor, Collins gained strength from sports - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

MP Hall of Famers Seasor, Collins gained strength from sports

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:45 am | Updated: 10:34 pm, Sat Mar 29, 2014.

While great achievements in sports has it merits and is much more enjoyable, falling ever so short might be better at developing character.

Two members of the 2013 Mountain Pointe Hall of Fame inductee class, who will be honored with a ceremony on Sept. 27, know this all too well.

Kari (Quinn) Seasor and Michael Collins had much success in their respective sports, but falling just short of a bigger accomplishment helped define the person they’ve become just as much.

Seasor, a 2004 graduate, went on to play softball at Morehead State and helped the Pride win a state title in badminton as a freshman and as a senior, but one of the things that sticks in her memory is her runner-up finish in badminton singles.

Seasor lost to an opponent in the championship match that she had beat three teams that season, including earlier in the state tournament.

“I remember the last hit so vividly,” she said. “It’s was a drop shot and it was like my feet were stuck in cement. It was heartbreaking. I learned discipline and dedication through sports, mostly, softball and it has helped me become the person I am today.”

Seasor, 27, lives in Ashland, Ky., with her husband, Darren, and their 13-month-old son, Easton. She is a kindergarten teacher.

She was surprised by the news of being elected to the school’s hall of fame.

“There are Olympians and pro athletes (already inducted),” Seasor said. “Yeah, I was pretty surprised I made it. I am humbled and honored.”

She plans on returning for the ceremony, which will bring back even more memories about her time with the Pride.

Like the time on the softball field when Seasor, who considered Kevin Quick (badminton coach, biology teacher) her biggest influence at Mountain Pointe, helped the Pride beat Corona de Sol for the first time in years as she pitched a gem on the same day she gave blood.

“It wasn’t the smartest thing to do,” said Seasor, who admitted softball became her lifestyle and drove her to succeed later in life. “I was completely drained.”

Collins, 36, knows that feeling after years of putting his body through the rigors of a professional baseball season.

The 1995 graduate made it as high as Triple-A after going undrafted after an Arizona State career that saw him hit a grand slam in the 1998 College World Series only to see the Sun Devils lose 21-14 in the title game. He was named to the all-CWS team but signed with the Dodgers as a free agent.

He made it to Triple A with Mets and Mariners.

“I am not bitter at all,” Collins said. “I was always told I was too small and didn’t have enough power. My basic approach was to prove as many people wrong as I could. I didn’t do anything that warranted not getting called up. I just wasn’t lucky enough.”

He believes his luck in the game came long before that when he got the chance to be part of the first four-year class for the Mountain Pointe baseball program.

“We were the starting point and took pride in that,” Collins said. “We had great coaches, in all of the sports, and we had a chance to set the standard. We loved that title.”

Collins, who is married to Joannie, has three children (Mia, 8, Michael Jr., 5, and Madilyn, 2), coached at Arizona State and South Mountain after his playing career, but for the last three years he has gone to the Phoenix School of Law.

“I could have stayed in the game longer, but family became more important,” he said. “I always wanted to be a law student, and here I am.”

Collins, who also played football under Karl Kiefer, was ever thankful for the Pride’s coaching staff of Roger LeBlanc and assistant Matt Leuck, a fellow 2013 inductee who died of cancer in 1999, as they set the tone of the way he approached the game.

“Our coaching staff was great and the good thing about them was they really let us play the game and have fun,” he said. “They helped with our weaknesses and did a good job of finding what could make us better.”

And in Collins’ case it was enough to get him selected for the Pride Hall of Fame.

“I never even thought of an accolade like this,” he said. “I am just humbled and honored. I would be happy just to find out I was nominated. High school was a blast and this is a great honor.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
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