Northwest Futures is a Vancouver-based baseball training facility that fields traveling teams. McGuire has been playing with Northwest Futures for several years.
“We can’t do anything in Washington, so they just decided to send some teams to Arizona and play some games,” McGuire said.
The big left-handed pitcher has also taken the opportunity in Arizona to work with Ben Wetzler, the former Oregon State standout and minor-league pitcher.
“Ben is a great guy and one of the hardest working guys I know,” McGuire said. “He loves to help other people. It was really cool to be able to go throw with him and get some tips from another lefty who has played at the level he has.”
While McGuire lost out a chance to play with his Union teammates one last time in high school, he will get to share the field with two Titans – Travis Wiese and Micah Foskett–as all three have signed last fall to play at Mt. Hood Community College.
“We’ve known each other for years,” McGuire said. “Travis and Micah grew up playing together in Little League and I grew up playing against them. And then after being teammates at Union and Northwest Futures, we were all like ‘Gosh, is this actually happening? Are we going to be able to remain teammates in college?’ … They offered all three of us at the same time, and we all said ‘yeah, let’s do this.’
“A lot of people dream about going to college, but being able to go to college with two of your best friends is amazing.”
From Arizona, McGuire participated in Union’s virtual commencement last week. It wasn’t what he had hoped for, but he kept the right outlook about it.
“You know, the actual ceremony outside and getting to walk across the stage would have been a cool experience,” he said. “But then to be one of the first class of graduates to go through this, it will be memorable to go down in history.”
And as he heads to college, McGuire loves that he’s taking a little bit of Union with him to college.
“Going to Union, from tennis to football, basketball or soccer, everyone cared about the athletes,” he said. “It was really cool to be part of a school where, for instance, I was playing basketball but coming off the bench late in a game, and still everyone knew my name for being on the basketball team.
“The energy on campus and the school spirit is great. All of the coaches are great. You can talk to any coach from any team, and they can name players on the roster from any sport. It’s awesome.”
And for getting to experience that as a two-sport athlete, McGuire can thank the constant badgering of Tanner Toolson.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.