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Adrienne Paul

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In his senior year at El Molino High School, Jason Lane hit zero home runs. Zero. By the end of his sophomore year at SRJC, he had broken the school home run record with 17. Ron Myers is either one heck of a coach or Lane was one very late bloomer.

Lane is now doing for the Houston Astros what he did for the Bear Cubs.

Lane hit another home run to help power the Astros to a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and into the World Series against the Chicago White Sox. Lane is finishing his first season as a full-time starter in the Majors with a flurry. He’s hit 26 home runs this season, (which, you’ll recall, is 26 more than he had his senior year at El Molino).

When you ask Myers about Lane, you can tell he’s as proud as a parent. They’ve stayed close since Jason left for USC in 1997, where he continued to work hard to develop his skills. Myers, SRJC’s athletic director these days, plays golf with his former pupil whenever he comes to town. He even spent a week with Lane in Houston this year.

“I had an outstanding time,” Myers said. “We’re very close.”

What made Jason Lane different than most of Myers’ players was not his spectacular skill in any one area as much as his pure determination in every aspect of the game.

“He’s a tremendously hard worker, very driven,” Myers said.

Myers recalls during Lane’s last year that the JC didn’t have a lot of pitching.

“Jason was pitching every other game,” said Myers.

The final regular game in 1997, in which the Bear Cubs had to win, Lane was the starting pitcher and hit a home run as the JC built a big lead. With a victory seemingly assured, Myers sat Lane down in the seventh inning. But Santa Rosa ended up losing. Lane was emotionally drained. Myers said it wasn’t the loss that upset him, but the fact that he wasn’t able to give more to assure a victory.

“He’s such a team oriented guy,” Myers said. “He gave everything he had.”

This memory holds a place in Myers’ heart, for it says a lot about Jason Lane’s character.

It wasn’t luck or raw talent that got Jason Lane into Major League Baseball and the 2005 World Series. It was pure determination.

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