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Senior salute: Mountain View’s Quinn Rooks hits all the right notes with his outlook

High schools: Tim Martinez

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: April 27, 2020, 1:49pm
2 Photos
Mountain View's Quinn Rooks rounds second base after hitting a two-run home run in an 8-3 win over Peninsula in the 3A bi-district tournament Saturday at Propstra Stadium.
Mountain View's Quinn Rooks rounds second base after hitting a two-run home run in an 8-3 win over Peninsula in the 3A bi-district tournament Saturday at Propstra Stadium. (Joshua Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

For someone who had the rest of his senior year of high school wiped out by a pandemic, Mountain View’s Quinn Rooks appears to be hitting all the right notes.

“In life, things happen, but we’re human and we just need to move past it,” Rooks said. “And I think the way I’ve been going about that is right. Every day I come up with a plan to where I can get my work in, continue my studies, keep up with everything and just hope for the future, hope for the best.”

Hitting the right notes is sort of Rooks’ thing.

He plays baritone saxophone for Mountain View’s top concert and jazz bands. He’s also the drum major who often conducts the Thunder marching band.

But where Rooks learned most of his life lessons is on the baseball diamond.

“Baseball is huge game of life lessons,” Rooks said. “It’s a game of failure. Being a successful player is being a player who fails 70 percent of the time. That’s ridiculous. Compare that to a basketball player shooting free throws. If you’re making 80 percent, that’s good. You’re only failing 20 percent of the time. In baseball, it’s completely opposite. And I think that’s awesome because it provides you so many opportunities to learn from your mistakes, adapt, get after it the next time and get better.”

Rooks applies those baseball lessons to his life, his music and his classrooms.

So it should come as no surprise that Rooks will continue his studies and baseball career next fall at Brown University, where he’ll study mechanical engineering.

“In the beginning, I wasn’t even looking at Brown,” Rooks said. “They weren’t even on my radar … But when an Ivy League school talks to you, you’re like ‘Oh my goodness.’ That’s peak academics and peak athletics in baseball. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Brown contacted Rooks after watching him play in a baseball showcase last summer in Seattle. He made an official recruiting visit to the Providence, Rhode Island campus in October.

“I loved the team, the coaches, and the location was awesome for me,” Rooks said. “They encouraged everyone to be part of the family. From the moment of my visit, everyone on the team included me like I was just another member of the team. I wasn’t just some random person joining them for the day.”

After signing his letter of intent with Brown, Rooks turned his attention to the baseball season with Mountain View. But his season ended before it could even begin.

“We played a jamboree of three-inning games with Woodland and Union,” Rooks said. “And then the next day it was all over.”

Rooks has been spending his days at home since keeping up with his schoolwork online. He also sets time aside to work out – push-ups, sit-ups, more cardio work.

But mostly, he’s been working on his baseball skills, fine-tuning his swing by hitting off a tee and playing catch with his dad.

“He can’t make it back to me all the time when I’m doing my long tosses, but he tries his best,” Rooks said. “I’m just glad I have someone to throw with, because if I I didn’t, it would be a whole other story.”

Rooks had planned to spend his summer playing with his club team, Northwest Futures, or possibly landing a spot with a West Coast League baseball team.  But now, those plans are up in the air.

In the meantime, he’ll focus on the little things.

“I’m just going to enjoy my time with family and friends,” he said. “I want to have one great last summer of being a kid before I go to work at Brown.”

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.

Senior Salute

Each week through June, Tim Martinez will spotlight a different high school senior athlete.

If you know of a senior who deserves some attention, send it to tim.martinez@columbian.com or send a direct message on Twitter to @360TMart.