Howard High baseball gets a surprise from the Atlanta Braves

ATLANTA (WDEF) – The Atlanta Braves welcomed the Howard High School Baseball team for a very special surprise before today’s doubleheader.

It’s Community Heroes Week at SunTrust Park.

News 12’s Angela Moryan was there with the Tigers to bring us this exclusive story.

Coach Jon Johnson was writing lesson plans last night.

Little did he know that his team’s trip to SunTrust Park was more than just a free game.

The Howard High baseball team walked on to SunTrust Field ready to watch the Atlanta Braves go fishing against the Miami Marlins.

But Monday’s hero wasn’t Freddie Freeman or Nick Markakis.

It was Tigers’ head coach Jon Johnson.

Announcer Jerome Jurenovich tells the team “Today starts community heroes week. Leading off is your head coach Jon Johnson for all the work he has done.” (cheers)

Antonio Daniels/Former student, current assistant coach: “He is one of the only people I know that came, transferred from one school to another school just because he believes in us. And he pushes us to the best of our abilities and he keeps pushing us everyday.”

Coach Johnson came to Howard in 2016 to help revitalize the struggling Tigers team.

He’s since rebuilt the team from the team from the ground up, with new facilities and a new mindset.

Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb says “You can just tell that he’s a genuinely good person. You can tell he’s in it for the right reason. That he’s in it for the kids. You can tell just by the way he reacted and his responses and just the way, you know, he teared up pretty quickly so just you can tell it means a lot to him.”

Along with the honor, the Braves Foundation donated 5-thousand dollars to Howard’s baseball program.

Mizzuno gifted the players all new gloves and bats.

And the Tigers got to play catch in the outfield with the Atlanta Braves.

Coach Jon Johnson says “Baseball is the means. The ends is making better fathers. Baseball is the means. The ends is making better husbands, better citizens of Chattanooga and ultimately the United States and the World. And I really believe firmly that every person deserves an opportunity to strive for success through hard work, dedication, discipline and all those things. Focus on the process. Man, you never know where God will take you.”

Now the plan is to head back to Chattanooga, spend that $5,000 and keep creating stronger citizens for Chattanooga through the sport of baseball.

Categories: Local News, Sports