The Alexandria baseball team had a group of 13 seniors who were ready to try to get back to the state tournament out of Section 8AAA.
Alexandria finished 14-5 in 2019 after making the Class AAA state field in 2017 and 2018. Matthew Carlsen, Kade Blankenship, Blake Hoelscher, Isaac McCoy, Matthew Zick, Riley Simonson, Dom Schmidt, Cody Richardson, Wyatt Snitker, Tate Breitkreutz, Kade Loge, Andrew Revering and Josh Ballou missed out on their final spring season this year after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports at the high school level.
The Echo Press reached out to each of them as a way to recognize them. For those who responded, it’s an opportunity to share their thoughts centered around four questions: Why do they play their sport? What do they miss most about it this spring? What is a favorite memory from competing? What are their future plans after high school, and do they plan on playing the game again?
(Editor’s note: Look for more stories like this highlighting seniors from area teams both online and within print issues of the Echo Press in the coming weeks.)
Why he plays: Baseball is the sport I grew up to love. It is where I have created the most connections and made the most friends. It is a sport that never gets old to me.
What he misses most: Not being able to play with my friends for our senior year and missing out at an opportunity for the state tournament.
Favorite memory: It has to be when we played Prior Lake last year in a Legion tournament. Their coach said they were gonna send us home, but we ended up beating them, 4-3.
Future plans: I am going to Bethel University to major in finance and accounting. I will also be playing baseball at Bethel.
Why he plays: Baseball has always been my favorite sport. I’ve been playing the game since I can remember.
What he misses most: I miss being with all my teammates all the time and the bonds we would have.
Favorite memory: All of the tournaments we had and staying in hotels with my teammates.
Future plans: I will be attending (North Dakota State College of Science) in Wahpeton, N.D. I’m still unsure if I want to play baseball there.
Why he plays: The reason behind me playing baseball is that the game is relaxing and stressful. All sorts of different emotions run through you at one time.
The atmosphere of the game and the team and the bus rides and the late nights together, the hotels, the coaches. They all play a special part in the game to make the game special to each and every one of our players.
What he misses most: What I miss most about the spring is looking forward to going to practice every day and going to the baseball field and messing around with friends and coaches. I miss my teammates. The same 13 boys we have been playing baseball with since we were just starting are still playing today.
Favorite memory: When I hit two home runs back-to-back at Sartell.
Future plans: I have signed with the University of Jamestown to continue my academic career in the study of exercise science and physiology. I also plan to play baseball at Jamestown for the Jimmies.
Why he plays: I play baseball because of my good experience when I was younger playing in the (Alexandria Area Baseball Organization) with all my friends.
What he misses most: I miss being with my teammates and coaches.
Favorite memory: My favorite memory was bunting a home run off multiple errors.
Future plans: Next year, I plan on going to Concordia Moorhead and majoring in biology.