New season, new opportunities
By Alex Leff – Horizon Sports Editor
Over the past few years the image and culture of Hesston baseball has lived under a shadow of negativity. The team on the field has been producing successful seasons but off the field, certain antics were engulfing the team with a stereotype and perception. The students and even some of the faculty have this perception that the baseball players are the type of individuals that people shouldn’t associate themselves with. The past few years the team has been trying to get rid of the negativity surrounding them.
“I felt the program was heading in the right direction, but it was not to the level it needed to be at,” Sophomore Cory Kerbs said. “At the end of the day, we’re not only supposed to become better baseball players, but better all-around individuals and I think the program has done that over the course of the past couple of years and will continue to do so for a while.”
Head Coach Rob Ramseyer has tried to change the stereotype by recruiting players whom have a good background and he looks for men with good character. Ramseyer has implemented a program three years ago which is slowly changing the culture of the team and as a result, it’s influencing campus perception. The program deals with the team holding them self’s accountable and other accountable; along with doing the right thing all the time.
“We are doing something different, it’s counter-cultural and whenever you do that there’s always resistance so getting guys to buy into the school, growing as a man and that everything matters and not just baseball,” Ramseyer said. “It was hard the first year but our guys have done a really good job and since then our guys have really bonded.”
Ramseyer’s program has aided in the change of perception throughout the school and even the team has tried to tackle this problem head on. There has been a fair share or challenges to overcome but the team has tried to take the stereotype and turn it around by leading by example.
“We try to show the students, faculty and the campus that we are willing to get involved within the campus and that we are trying to do the right things,” Sophomore Nick Yoder said. “We are trying to create a community and we are trying to be a positive force in the school.”
Not only has the team tried to change by keeping a positive outlook but also by leading by example. The team takes tremendous pride in having five Resident Assistants (RA’s) and two Ministry Assistants (MA’s) on the team.
“Those groups of individuals have a drive and a passion to grow spiritual and as a person and they strive to be successful in their friendships and relationships with people on campus and that has a lot to do with their personality,” Sophomore Brandon Kutrubs said.
Having leaders on the team and a coach who has high expectations for his players is adding to the cultural change of Hesston baseball. After three years of hard work on and off the field the team has almost eliminated the negative perceptions and the stereotypes.
“Lastly we are trying to eliminate the negative aspects that people associate the baseball team with and we are trying to break down those stereotypical walls,” Yoder Said.