The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina Visit EHS, Inspire Students

Sophomore Grace Cook poses for a photo with the Spanish broadcasting team for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina, the Spanish broadcasters for the Saint Louis Cardinals, came to speak to students in English teacher Libby Rowan’s fourth, fifth and sixth hour classes to share their stories and give the students advice.

The pair first met when Ascencio, a die-hard Dodgers fan, incessantly shouted insults from the stands at Molina, who was playing for the Giants at the time.

“I heard this deep voice behind me,” Molina said. “Shouting things about my mother, my father, my brother…”

Drawn together by the forces of fate, the duo was reunited years later when they became broadcast announcers for the Cardinals.

“I kept wondering where I’d heard his voice before,” Molina said, laughing at the memory of their first encounter. “We’re best friends now.”

Getting their start in 2016, the pair has grown from broadcasting two games on one station, to covering all 81 home games of the season on seven stations just eight years later.

Announcing the plays in Spanish, the pair open up Cardinals game play analysis and commentary to Spanish-speaking listeners from Indiana and Argentina alike, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to understand.

But the part of the story the pair wanted the students in the audience to feel most inspired by wasn’t how far they’d come. What they wanted the students to hear was how they got there.

Molina attributed getting to where he is now to his family, and how being the oldest of the three Molina brothers pushed him to be determined and self-motivated.

Prior to his announcing career, Molina kept a photograph of his family in his jersey for all 20 pro seasons that he played. He recalled how he felt taking that photo out of his front pocket after losing his last game in the World Series, and recognizing that even though the photo was faded, he still knew what it was of, and he realized that it was always his family that motivated him.

“At some point, you’re going to find yourself with that decision and you’re going to need to know where you’re going,” Molina said to the class. “That self-motivation is what’s going to make you or not going to make you.”

Along with Molina’s message to the students about finding your drive and the importance of family, Ascencio told the students to pay attention to the signs around them, even if they don’t make sense now.

“About 10 years ago, I was almost homeless,” Ascencio said, “A guy came up to me out of absolutely nowhere and said ‘I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but your voice is going to change a lot of people.’ And what am I doing now? I’m a broadcaster.”

A conversation that he said made a lot more sense years later.

For sophomore Alex Simpson, this event was very inspiring.

“I grew up in a baseball family, so stuff like this is really exciting to me,” Simpson said. “It was really cool hearing their experiences and advice that they had for people our age.”

Both speakers encouraged the audience to think about where they’re going and how they can make a difference, in their own lives and in the lives of others.

“I’m very proud of the first game we did because when I realized that the Cardinals had never had Spanish broadcasters in their history, in over 100 years,” Ascencio said, “Nobody, nada, zero, I can still remember the words we said… and knowing that I was giving the latino fanbase of the Cardinals something to listen to.”

If you want to listen to Polo Ascencio and Bengie, “the fastest Molina,” announce games for the Cardinals this summer, you can listen to their broadcast on their app, La Trenta 880.