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Turlocks Texas Ranger talks with students about priorities
Local baseball legend Tom Mendonca speaks to Kevin Crivelli’s third grade class at Sacred Heart Catholic School about putting family, faith and school before sports. - photo by Photo Contributed
Local baseball player Tom Mendonca has a lesson to teach about priorities. This Turlock High School graduate went on to win the College World Series with the Fresno State Bulldogs. He was also named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player and he won the Joe Kearney Award in 2009, which recognized him as the top male athlete in the Western Athletic Conference. After all of his success, however, he says that baseball is not his top priority.
Mendonca met with Kevin Crivelli’s third grade class at Sacred Heart Catholic School on Wednesday. His main message to the students was that they need to keep their priorities in order.
“I talked to them about how a kid from Turlock can really do something,” Mendonca said.
Mendonca went to catechism at Sacred Heart, and he played for the CYO sports program. But despite his success, he wanted kids to know that family, faith, and school come before sports.
“If you don’t take care of the first three than the fourth is not and option,” Crivelli said.
The third grade class will spend the month of May tracking baseball statistics. This is all part of Crivelli’s baseball themed lesson for the month. Kids will learn more about science, math, and letter writing through the lessons. They will write letters to a baseball player, check out books on baseball, follow statistics and graph success.
“I like hearing from dads who have daughters in my class. They say that in the morning they actually read the sports page together,” Crivelli said.
At the end of the month, students meet up with their pen-pals from Saint Stanislaus Elementary School at a Modesto Nuts game. Crivelli said that kids enjoy the lessons, and they especially like going to a game at the end of a long school year.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.