Senior pitcher hopes for a career in the pros

Phil Riddle phil.riddle@empiretribune.com Twitter @ETSports
SHS Senior Maddux Conger and his parents making official his commitment to Vanderbilt.

At a recent Friday afternoon tournament game featuring the Stephenville baseball team, the pitcher was called on by his teammates. “One more Mad Dog,” and “Good pitch, Congo.” They were addressing senior standout Maddux Conger, a pitcher and one of the team’s top offensive threats. Conger, the son of Tarleton State baseball coach Bryan Conger, has committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt University and his ultimate goal is to stare down major league hitters from the mound. He also has a passion for history and learning. He is this week’s featured Q&A.

ET: You signed to continue your education at Vanderbilt in the SEC. What made you choose the Commodores?

MC: On my visit I fell in love with the campus. I fell in love with the coaches, with what they do. They go out and compete. They work every day. It’s a family atmosphere and I love that.

ET: Your dad is the baseball coach at Tarleton. What influence did he have in your taking up baseball?

MC: When I was little, he always wanted me to play every sport possible. When I got older, he always told me, “Do what you want to do. Do what makes you happy.” He never forced me to play baseball but when I decided to play he wanted me to give it my all.

ET: It must be a great resource having a dad that’s a coach.

MC: It’s unbelievable. It’s really a blessing. I can always go to him whenever I need someone to talk to.

ET: Since you both work at pretty much the same time of the season, is it a rarity for him to get to see you play?

MC: It is. He’s seen me pitch two innings in high school.

ET: Do you participate in other sports at SHS?

MC: I used to play it all – football, basketball. Right now it’s just baseball.

ET: As a student, what are your favorite areas of study?

MC: I absolutely love history. Anything about war, that interests me so much. The Holocaust, I love learning about how all that happened. What those people had to go through. My favorite book I’ve ever read is ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’ Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor wrote it. That changed my life and opened a lot of doors for me.

ET: How about college? Have you decided upon a major?

MC: I want to do something in business, however they don’t have a business major. They do have a build-your-own major.

ET: If you could have dinner and conversation with anyone, who would it be and what would you talk about?

MC: After reading the book, I guess it would have to be Viktor Frankl. He went through some terrible things in his life and he had the willpower and strength to get through it all. I would love to hear from him and learn more about it.

ET: If you were to win a $20 million lottery, what would you do with the money?

MC: I don't know if I would spend any of it. I would probably give it to my family. I don’t like to spend a lot of money. I might give it to charity or my family. I’m not a big “me” guy.

ET: With graduation coming and education at Vanderbilt set, what do you hope for in your future?

MC: My ultimate goal is to be a successful major league pitcher. If that doesn’t work out, I want to do my best to support my future family. To be around and be the best person I can be and help others out.