SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Arenivas keeps pace on, off baseball field

Looking ahead is not something new for Odessa High senior Nicholas Arenivas. In fact, it’s helped him excel in nearly everything he’s done.

He’s had plenty on his plate to manage from school, pitching for the Bronchos’ baseball team, National Honor Society, and being a part of the youth group at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

So how does the 2019 Odessa High boys scholar-athlete honoree balance everything?

It all starts with making a plan.

“I’ve worked a lot with my teachers,” Arenivas said. “I just wanted to ensure I’m on top of all of my work and not fall behind in any classes and help them with whatever they need.”

That planning has played a big part in finishing No. 3 out of the 764 students graduating from Odessa High next week.

It’s also one of the important aspects that head baseball coach Josh Hulin notices in his pitcher.

“Nick has one of the best attitudes I’ve seen in a person,” Hulin said. “He and I have had some serious conversations about his baseball career and his stock answer is to work harder. That carries over into pretty much everything he does in his academics.”

That hard work has also come to fruition on the diamond for the Bronchos this season.

He recently added another highlight to his impressive resume, pitching a complete-game, five-hit shutout in Game 3 of a Class 6A area-round matchup against San Angelo Central to put Odessa High in the third round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

 With his days in high school winding down, Arenivas says he’s simply trying to enjoy the time he has left with his team.

“I’ll remember just how much we became a family this year and the journey it’s taken us to get there,” he said.

Also, as he gets set to graduate, he has a set plan on what he wants to do next.

Among those plans: attending the University of Texas at Austin to major in math followed by dental school in San Antonio.

That kind of foresight is something that doesn’t surprise Hulin at all.

“When you talk about being successful, you talk about someone that’s goal oriented and Nick is definitely that person,” he said. “When we had Senior Day and made his announcement, he had already planned out what he was going to do.

“That right there gives you a little insight into someone who has goals pretty far down the line.”

For Arenivas, becoming a Longhorn is simply a fulfillment of living out a dream.

 “I’ve always wanted to go there to UT ever since I was a little kid,” Arenivas said. “When I applied and got accepted, it meant a lot to me. I’m excited to continue my journey there.”

As for the other part of that journey, Arenivas says he drew inspiration from shadowing his childhood dentist, Dr. Manuel Carrasco, last summer.

It confirmed an idea that had been in the works for a while and all that experience did was motivate him to learn more.

“It was very eye-opening to be a part of that,” he said. “(Dr. Carrasco) has been huge for allowing me to do that and pursue something that I’m interested in.”

That work ethic carried over into the doctor’s office as well. In the few weeks that Dr. Carrasco had Nick in his office, he said that Arenivas’ curiosity was what stood out to him.

“One thing that I always tell the kids that shadow me is that if you have any questions, let me know,” he said. “Some kids will come in and not ask a thing but Nick was not that kid.

“His interest was really evident when he wanted to know more about the procedures. He’s very forward and eager to learn.”  

That willingness to learn more is something that Hulin also sees that will help him be successful mo matter what he does next.

“He’s not someone that’s accidentally made good grades. He’s earned them,” Hulin said. “And on the baseball field, it’s not an accident that he’s helped us win a few games this year. He’s had the best attitude about everything and he’s been a great teammate.”