Socorro High School students and staff recently honored assistant varsity baseball coach Mark Ortega for earning a top award in the state.
Ortega was named the 2019 Assistant Coach of the Year in Class 6A baseball by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association. He is the only assistant coach in El Paso to receive the prestigious award.
During his nine years at Socorro, Ortega has helped coach both baseball and football. In baseball, Ortega assists student-athletes in improving their pitching and is also in charge of the outfield.
“It’s been an excellent experience for me, coaching here at Socorro High School,” Ortega said. “The kids are great; the community is excellent, and this is the best school district in Texas.”
Ortega said he was surprised when he found out he earned the assistant coach of the year honor/ Soon enough he found his email inbox full of congratulations messages and students and staff came by his classroom to shake his hand.
He earned the award for his numerous contributions to his team’s and students’ success, including improvement of the team record, community involvement and making a significant impact in students’ lives.
“He’s a great coach who pushes us to work hard,” said Jacob Corral, a senior at Socorro High School. “He’s helped me not only through baseball, but also through personal battles as well.”
Baseball player and junior Mike Estrada shared the same thoughts about Ortega. He said his coach is a great person both on and off the field.
“This just shows that in our program our coaches and our players are awesome,” Estrada said.
Both Corral and Estrada said they were glad to be a part of a program with great role models like Ortega.
“It’s a humbling feeling to know that you actually touched a child’s life and for these young men to come back to say thank you, is priceless,” Ortega said.