MILTON, Fla. (WALA) - A school resource officer at a high school in Milton is giving a few ballplayers a 'leg up,' getting them chances at scholarships they'd likely never get.
Thursday, March 28, Deputy Thomas Enfinger of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office watched on as TJ Beasley went to work before making the trip to district rival Malone.
The big righty is a prototype pitcher with a good fastball, but high school ball was "supposed" to be as far as TJ went.
Things changed Enfinger showed up and took over as school resource officer at Central High School in Milton. Ask anyone around or read the letters from parents, Enfinger is much more than a disciplinarian or role model.
First baseman Nick Waters said he's like second father.
"I've seen a lot of good kids come through here that had the potential to go further with their education and their athletic ability," Enfinger said. "Just because we're out here in the middle nowhere they get overlooked, and I just wanted to make a difference in this kids."
Enfinger said he has spent countless money and time contacting schools to get scholarships for his ball players.
"[He makes] phone calls, [sends] emails, anything he can do to help," said catcher Wendall Cooley. "It's nice; you know that you have a chance, a chance that we probably wouldn't have if he wasn't here, because no one else have ever taken this much initiative to helps us, until now."
Central is a title one school. It's in an area with a high poverty rate. The principal said three-quarters of the 550 students receive free or reduced price lunches.
"It feels good to know that somebody will actually help you out to achieve your dream," Waters said.
"Without him, it's it probably wouldn't be possible at all," Beasley agreed. "It feels like I have a chance to able to go to the next level now."
And as grateful as his boys are, it pales in comparison to the satisfaction Enfinger receives from seeing them succeed.
The young deputy said they've not only revived his career, but enriched his life.
"It's going to be very satisfying for me to see these kids be able to reach out for their future and reach their dreams," Enfinger said.
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