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Little Eagles Join Big Eagles at Baseball Field

June 25, 2022 - 2 minute read

Little Eagles and Big Eagles

At a baseball doubleheader in April, a group of Little Leaguers lined up with Concordia’s players for the national anthem—their hearts bursting with excitement to stand alongside their namesake team.

“Our boys were in absolute awe looking at the players, seeing the huge field and dugout,” says team mom Tristen Holton ’06, whose son, Jack, 8, plays on a North Mission Viejo Little League team that chose “Concordia Eagles” as its team name.

“We are very much a sports family,” Tristen says. “I would be so, so happy if one day our kids decided to go to Concordia and play.”

Jack’s dad, Nick Holton ’06, coaches their three kids’ baseball and softball teams. In Jack’s league, teams choose colleges as their team names. When Concordia found out that Jack’s little league team is the Concordia Eagles, the University donated shirts to all players, then invited them to be special guests at a home game.

Little eagles running with big eagles

“It turned into the most amazing experience,” says Tristen. “The boys showed up in their new Concordia shirts and hats, and we were welcomed right away by the coach. The players were so genuine and welcoming.”

A highlight for the starstruck eight-year-olds was meeting Concordia’s mascot, Marty the Eagle, and having their pictures taken with him. The announcer presented the Little League team to the crowd, and the boys went out and stood next to the Eagles players during the national anthem.

Tristen played basketball all four years at Concordia, where she met Nick, a transfer athlete who played on the Eagles baseball team for two years.

“When I look back on my college experience both academically and athletically, I could not have asked for anything better,” she says. “I have lifelong friends from Concordia and from the basketball team.”

Tristen has worked as a teacher for 14 years, primarily in sixth grade and presently in Irvine USD. Nick works in banking and finance. The family is often found on baseball or softball fields. 

Teamwork, they say, was a strong value taught to them at Concordia.

“I’ve always really valued teamwork, and that’s something my husband and I are trying to instill in our kids,” Tristen says. “Knowing how to treat teammates, when to lead and when to follow. These are life skills. That’s a huge quality that was instilled in me at Concordia.”

The Little League “Concordia Eagles” stayed for one game of the double-header “and were non-stop talking about it afterward,” says Tristen. “Even the parents messaged us and couldn’t stop talking about it. We were super-proud to share our school and what we’ve seen it grow into. We are so thankful to have Concordia as our alma mater and thankful for everything they have offered to do, to get our kids and team involved. We love to see that connection.”


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