Sports

MEET MATER DEI’S BRANDON PEREZ

Standout student athlete and captain of the baseball team

By JENELYN RUSSO     6/7/2015

Like most dads who look forward to afternoons in the front yard playing catch with their kids, it was the father of Brandon Perez who introduced his son to the sport of baseball at a young age.

“I got my start in baseball when I was around 3 or 4 from my dad,” says Perez. “He loved baseball from when he was a kid, so he introduced that to me, and I’ve loved it ever since.”

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Perez has turned that love of the game into some successful years at Mater Dei High School, where the senior and four-year varsity starter and All-Trinity League player has left his own mark on the school’s program.

“Brandon is a great team leader, who is always performing at a high level,” says Mater Dei varsity baseball head coach Burt Call. “He’s very dedicated to his team and has worked hard in the classroom as well. We will miss him a great deal next year.”
Considered to be one of the top high school shortstops in the nation, according to Call, Perez enjoys the responsibility that comes with the pivotal infield position.

“I like [shortstop] because it’s the most action and you’re the captain of the field,” says Perez.

And not only “captain of the field;” Perez has served as co-captain of the Monarchs for two seasons, both as a junior and a senior, a level of recognition that the 18-year-old takes seriously.

“Being a captain, to me…it was an honor,” says Perez. “I’m not the most vocal person, but I lead by example.”

As he closes out his time on the diamond for Mater Dei, it’s the team camaraderie that has provided some of his favorite memories.

“I think I’ll miss the most the family that we have here,” says Perez, “and all the students and players that come out to watch and come back to the program because of how great it is and what a legacy it has.”

The Ladera Ranch resident will head off on a new adventure this fall as he stays local to play baseball for the Trojans of USC, a program with a strong legacy of its own. He plans to study business.

He’s grateful for his parents, two of the major role models in his life who “keep me playing, keep me going and are there for me whenever I have a bad game.”

And whether it’s navigating those bad games, or slumps, or physical exhaustion, Perez says the key is to look beyond the tough days in the present and have faith in a better future.

“Playing baseball has taught me to not dwell on the current situation,” says Perez. “Baseball is a game of failure…so you just have to learn how to move past things and just look to the future, because that’s all that matters.”