Staff Writer | Julia Sosniecki
The fourth season of Century College baseball is upon us, and looking at last year’s record of 42-13, the bar has been set high. Finishing second in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series last season to Gloucester County College in New Jersey, the school’s baseball team has proven to be one of the greatest teams in their field. There are about sixteen or seventeen players back from last year with a total of forty on the team right now.
No longer having an ace player like pitcher Jared Dettman may worry some, but the team has great confidence that they will be able to return to the World Series. Over his seventeen years of coaching, Dwight Kotila has had eight different teams make it to the World Series. So far, it’s looking good for the team. While fall games only count as scrimmages, Kotila said, “Let’s just say we’ve won more than we’ve lost this fall.”
In order to return for the title, sophomore third baseman Jordan Stroh said, “To get back to our success from last year we will have to come ready to play each and every game, we will need to have to focus and ambition to win every game and come out and play each game like it was our last.”
Being part of the team is not easy; it is a full time commitment. Justin Anderson, a sophomore who plays infield described, “It’s definitely like a full time job…you throw that and school and there’s not a lot of free time.” With this kind of time commitment and dedication, the team is bound to complete great success. “It’s a lot of work, but it pays off,” continued Anderson.
It helps that the team has a great base of support: each other. The sophomores are in the leadership position now and help guide the freshmen who are new to college ball. Anderson explained that when it comes to the freshmen, “They’re full of questions all the time, so you just have to answer your best and help them out. If they’re down in practice or something, try and cheer them up because that’s what you have to do.”
Kotila explained, “We practice hard, we try to do things in a certain way to prepare the players both off the field, on the field to be successful in whatever they do.”
It is important for the school to understand that this nationally ranked team has to work very hard off the field in order to make it possible to go to their tournaments. A lot of fundraising is required to support the team to make it to their tournaments, such as one in Florida over spring break. The school provides a budget, but fundraising is where the majority of the funds for the tournaments come from. “The Florida trip is 100% fundraised,” stated Kotila. In order to raise this money, the team hosts camps and clinics for local baseball associations, will be working at Valleyfair a couple times this fall, and sends out pledge letters to friends and family.
In addition to fundraising and playing lots of ball, the team gets involved with the community. They do this by hosting clinics for the Miracle League which is a free clinic where the team works with kids with special needs.
Though there are many fans in the stands at the games, it would be great for more students to be there to cheer on our team. If a person is wondering where the home games are played, the athletic fields are right behind the West Campus. Just take the Wood Duck Trail back in the woods. Students, show your support and make it to the games. This team is truly a home run you want to experience.