Oscar Castro learned early in his high school years that, even if he worked hard, he could always do better.
Those lessons permeated every aspect of Castro's life, from sports and academics to serving as a mentor for younger students and raising farm animals.
Castro will reap the fruits of his hard work today when he graduates from Amphitheater High School, where he attained a 3.1 grade-point average while playing three years on the varsity baseball team.
"I feel happy, accomplished and satisfied. I know I tried hard," said Castro, who will attend Saux Valley Community College in Illinois on a partial baseball scholarship.
Castro was a catcher on the Amphi team, where he moved to the varsity team as a sophomore.
During his time at Amphi, Castro took Advanced Placement classes, helped freshmen adjust to high school as part of the school's LINK Crew and was part of Future Farmers of America, where he raised a pig.
"It took a lot of my time. I was pretty busy," he said.
Castro credits his parents and baseball coaches with pushing him to achieve more, even when he thought he had done his best.
"No matter how big or small you are, you can always do something if you put your mind to it," he said, referring to the lessons he learned through high school.
Amphi Principal Jon Lansa described Castro as an "all-around guy."
Although Castro was an athlete involved in a lot of activities, he never sought the spotlight, Lansa said.
"He just doesn't limit himself to typical high school stuff. He has a great attitude ... positive, upbeat," he said.
Castro's biggest contribution to the school might have been through the LINK Crew, where he served as a mentor and tutor to freshmen, he said.
"We encouraged him to get in there because he's a great example," he said. "For incoming freshmen, that's the kid you want to have."
Contact reporter Jamar Younger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4242. On Twitter: @JamarYounger