From Football to Fever Pitch
By Ty Tilden
Hailing from Sandy, Aaron Menchaca’s sports journey began at a young age. His prowess in football as an offensive guard and defensive tackle, combined with his versatility in baseball as a first baseman, designated hitter and occasional third baseman showcases a skill set that extends across the sports spectrum.
Starting football in the third grade and swinging a baseball bat since the age of four, Menchaca’s initiation into these sports was influenced by both community and familial ties. Football became a natural fit, thanks to his size and a nudge from a friend, Cole Rotzien, who saw potential in him. On the other hand, baseball found its place in his heart through familial bonds, with relatives involved in the sport.
“I was bigger, and they also needed me because lots of the kids were just tiny and weren’t really like a lineman per se. So then, Cole just influenced me, [he] kept telling me that I’d be great at it,” Menchaca said, recalling his entry into football. “And then [Cole Rotzien] said, ‘Just come play, have a good time with us.’ So, I’m like, ‘Alright, stop nagging. I’ll go play.’ And I’ve been playing ever since.”
Aaron’s dedication to sports is evident in his daily routine. Whether it’s the grind of football workouts or the meticulous practice sessions for baseball, he embraces the challenges with enthusiasm. “I enjoy it. It’s fun to just challenge yourself and try to see what you can do better and improve on. What I learned from football and baseball is to just suck it up and work through it,” he said.
Menchaca infuses his everyday life with athleticism and dedication to his sport. “It’s working out five to six times a week, and on the weekends – including speed training and then also yoga to get flexible primarily. Every day [I’m] going after school to hit and throw and get into baseball shape. But honestly I haven’t stopped hitting since last season. You can’t really lose that,” he said.
As he looks ahead to his athletic future, Menchaca sets his sights on playing baseball in college. Currently eyeing Linn-Benton Community College in Corvallis, a feeder school to Oregon State University, he aims to make his mark in the collegiate sports arena.
While Menchaca’s athletic pursuits dominate a significant portion of his life, he maintains a balance, allocating time to family and academics. “I’d say a big portion of it goes to baseball, at least 40%. Family is prioritized at 40%, and then the other 20%, hopefully, [is] school, just cramming that in. But yeah, I focus mainly on sports right now,” he said.
Looking forward to the upcoming baseball season, Menchaca aspires to being named conference player of the year and contributing to a successful playoff run for his team. With an unwavering commitment to his craft, Aaron Menchaca exemplifies the spirit of a double-threat athlete with big dreams in baseball.