Once a Falcon, always a Falcon.
During his prep baseball career, Tommy Wick played his home games at Woodinville’s Falcon Field. By next spring, he’ll still be playing at Falcon Field— but this time in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a member of the Air Force Academy Falcons.
Wick starts Basic Training there on June 26.
“And I’ll be playing in the outfield,” Wick said. “There’s a pretty big freshmen class coming in. I think the program is on the up.”
Six months ago, it was hard to imagine Wick ever playing anything at all. After suffering a horrific leg fracture during a basketball game against Bothell, Wick’s body lay sprawled upon the hardwood court. A medic walked past Woodinville basketball coach Mark Folsom and muttered, “He’s done. His high school career is over.”
That prediction proved true. Wick not only missed the rest of basketball season, but baseball season too, of his senior year. He could only watch as his teammates went on to finish in fourth place at State.
But meanwhile, his rehab was progressing so well that he re-applied to the Air Force Academy with the hopes of a scholarship.
“There are a couple steps you have to get through,” Wick said. “I went through Congresswoman Suzan DelBene. Each congressperson is only allowed to give a certain number of nominations to each service academy. She called me and told me I had been accepted. It was a big relief after the whole application process. It was a pretty big moment having to overcome all those obstacles and having it all come together.”
He next had to sit before a review board consisting of four Air Force Academy grads.
“They run you through a bunch of questions trying to find out who you are,” Wick said. “They go through your resume and ask you what you want to do as far as your career in the Air Force. From there you get ranked against all the other people who received nominations. You get ranked and the top ones get nominations.
“I was really nervous going in,” he added. “They were pretty nice about it so it ended up not being too intimidating. But going in I was scared.”
Aside from playing in the outfield, Wick harbors big ambitions in the Academy itself.
“It would be pretty cool to be a fighter pilot,” he said. “That’s the plan right now. Usually the Academy graduates half the class to be pilots each year, which would be 500 pilots. There is like a 25 percent washout rate. The majority of it comes in the first year. Whether it is for academic reasons or that the military lifestyle is too hard for some people. I haven’t grown up with military influences, but it has always been a dream of mine to serve. Any sort of service isn’t about the money, but it feels good to do something to protect the country. It’s a pretty cool thing.”
Wick felt good rapport with Air Force baseball coach Mike Kazlausky. “He had a lot to do with helping me prepare and took me around the Academy and showed me the facilities,” Wick said. “He played a pretty big part in the process.”
Wick also cited Lt. Col. Tony Mitchell, and Woodinville coaches Terry Agnew and Alan Dillman as being very supportive.
“All the Woodinville coaches have been great,” he said.
And as for playing baseball again?
“It will be great to get back out on the field,” he said.