Hudson Polk has been living out his dream.
The Coppell Cowboys have been around Polk’s life since he could remember. He was picking up a baseball and a baseball bat at just 2 years old, and at the age of 6 he was playing organized baseball.
And he was around Coppell baseball for the longest time before he actually set foot on campus, becoming a bat boy for the baseball team since the early 2000s while watching the tradition-rich program go through playoff appearances. He would see a bunch of different players that went on to carve out professional and college careers, remembering some names like 2011 Coppell graduate and eventual Baylor player Adam Toth.
“He was my favorite,” Polk said. “He was a guy I looked up to a lot.”
During those early days, Polk – whose brother, Walker, is a football standout and was named as the district’s defensive newcomer of the year as a freshman in 2018 - always saw Coppell as something special, something different that wasn’t just your typical experience.
Coppell is regarded as a baseball factory and is one of the hotbeds for the sport across the state and country. Players like Corey Kluber and so many others have rolled through before they eventually made their way up to the pros.
“Growing up here, I went to a lot of the Coppell baseball games,” Polk said. “I watched a lot of a really good players. When I was little, I thought being a Coppell Cowboy is like being in Major League Baseball. I thought it was cool that those guys get to play in front of the high school and just work hard for the things that they get to do.”
Through those early days to now, Polk worked his way to experience the Major League Baseball dream at Coppell, eventually leading his way to a college baseball commitment to Oklahoma as part of a star-studded career on the diamond.
At 12 years old, Polk noticed that he was a different dude in baseball. Playing select ball with the Dallas Tigers, others were looking at him as a special player and someone that could not only provide significant contributions, but they also viewed him as someone that could lead the way.
Not much later, Coppell certainly had those same views, bringing Polk onto the varsity squad as a freshman at a school always filled with special athletes.
“I was playing with guys that were four years older than me, and that’s when I really realized I could really continue this and maybe go play college baseball,” Polk said.
Was that a surprise? Yes, but it was a goal for Polk, who knew it was a challenging task but wanted to become a varsity player right away on a team that the year prior was at one point ranked No. 1 in the country.
It would not take long for Polk to prove his worth and show that he did belong at this level. His first at-bat at home was a home run against Jesuit, and his teammates immediately went crazy, with a senior class filled with Division I talent like Cody Masters (Texas Tech), John Kodros (LSU) and Jacob Nesbit (Arkansas) rejoicing in the moment with their young phenom.
“It was big deal to me, but it seemed like it was an even bigger deal to all the seniors and the people, my teammates,” Polk said. “It was a big deal to them, too. It was cool to share that with my teammates.”
From that moment on, Polk continued the climb into a baseball sensation.
As a freshman, he was named a first team all-district selection. As a sophomore, he was named the MVP of the district.
Now, Polk is an Oklahoma signee – a school he committed to not long after receiving an offer from there just a couple of weeks into his sophomore year. He will get that chance to carve out a legacy at the next level, just like those Cowboys before him that provide the motivation to anyone who walks through the doors of Coppell’s athletic facilities.
“We have a board at our field and it lists all of the players that have gone to college or the professional baseball, and it’s a long list and it makes you really think about the opportunity that you’re given at Coppell,” Polk said. “What I think about when I see that is those guys did it, and I’m in the position that they were years ahead of them, but it makes me think that I could definitely do it if they could do it.”
Polk did it.
After being a bat boy as a young child, picking up a bat and baseball at age 2 and continually working as hard as he could, he accomplished those college ambitions, and he hopes to make a similar impact as a player and leader when he heads off to Norman.
“In Norman, I have a lot of high hopes for my future,” Polk said. “I guess it’s really a lot of people’s hopes to go there and set records and leave your legacy there. My dad always tells me that those people that go to college, let’s say you’re like Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray, everyone knows who they are, and especially if you’re a Sooner you definitely know who they are.
“A good career there and leave your legacy on that campus for a very, very long time. I just want to go there, play as hard as I can and leave an impact on the people that I get to be around.”