Will Middlebrooks is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) player who is now a broadcaster and analyst for the Boston Red Sox on NESN and a national MLB analyst for CBS Sports. Born September 9, 1988, in Greenville, Texas, Will and his family moved to Texarkana in 1999. At Liberty-Eylau, Will was a part of both the baseball and football state championship teams in 2006. He married Jenny Dell Middlebrooks in 2016. Jenny is the lead college football reporter for the SEC on CBS. The couple shares two children, Madison Dell Middlebrooks (5) and Makenzie Grey Middlebrooks (4), and they live in Boynton Beach, Florida.
What is your favorite Texarkana memory?
That’s tough... So many come to mind. Winning state championships at LE in 2006 in both football and baseball were really special memories. I think the football championship tops the list because my dad had been coaching football for a long time and never got a ring until then. I was able to share that with him after all the years I spent with him as a child at the field house, working toward his goal.
Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback, or Tiger?
Liberty-Eylau Leopard for life. I loved competing against Pleasant Grove and enjoying the week building up to the big cross-town rivalry. There was a lot of meaning to earning those bragging rights, because most of us played little league and/or American Legion ball together.
What was the teen hangout when you lived here?
My group of friends and I were at the ball field or Zach Fowler’s house. Ping-pong, video games, backyard football, basketball, riding bikes, etc.
How do you describe Texarkana to your friends?
A breeding ground for elite athletes in all sports, both male and female. Sports mean a lot to Texarkana and the surrounding towns. For many kids, it’s their way out and a stepping stone to their next chapter in life.
What is your nickname for Texarkana?
Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life?
First and foremost, it’s my parents. They set the foundation for how to treat others, how to work for what I want to accomplish, and how to be humble when I achieve what I’ve worked for.
Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?
TLC Burgers! Still, to this day, they’re the best burgers I’ve ever had. There is a place in San Diego called Hodad’s that is a close second, but I’m not sure anything ever tops TLC in my mind! I have to give an honorable mention to Zapata’s… that place is unbelievable. I think my parents keep them in business with how much they go.
What do you love about Texarkana?
Texarkana will always be home. I’ve lived all over the country, and yet when I come back to town, it still feels like I’m home, no matter how much time has passed between trips. Some of my closest friends and my family are still there, so I try to make it back as much as possible.
What would you change about Texarkana?
The violence. I feel like it continues to get worse every year. Correcting this will take time. You have to attack this at its root. We have to ensure we support all neighborhoods, school districts, and cultures. Of course, it should start at home, but that’s not always realistic. That’s where the school systems should step in and build a good base for these kids. Show them what leadership looks like. Show them they can be successful no matter where they come from, what ethnicity they are, and how much money they have or don’t have. It’s about effort from the top of that pyramid down. Care about the kids.
What words do you live by?
Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.
TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”