by Eric Oslund
The Spectrum Sting lost to Maranatha 11-10 on May 3. It was the closest they have come to winning all season, but instead the team remained winless.
Afterwards, a majority of the players left the ball field, talking and laughing with one another or their family members as they made their way back to the cars and locker room. But one player stayed after, picking up the equipment that was spread around the dugout and loading it into a bag.
He then threw that equipment over his shoulder and hauled it out with his own baseball bag as well.
Jordan Schlueter is the lone senior on Spectrum’s baseball team this season, and that loss to Maranatha clearly effected him more than anyone else on the field. The team has yet to win a game, and that may have been one of their best chances to do so all season.
“It’s definitely hard,” he said afterwards. “I guess we try our best, but things happen when you have a young team.”
It’s never easy for any player to go through a losing season, but it’s always harder to do so when it is your last year to be a part of the program. Everyone always dreams of going out on top – winning your conference and making it to state during your senior year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Schleuter.
“It kind of sucks. Kind of disappointing that my class doesn’t like baseball,” he explained. “I guess that’s just the way it is.”
From their first practice on, the Sting knew it was going to be a season filled with growing pains, as there are a lot of young players still learning how to win, and play the game.
Schleuter could have gotten upset about that. Could have put his head down and pouted about the losses that continue to pile up, but that’s not who he is. He’s continued to grind it out, to work through all his team’s short comings, and try to give the younger players a good example of how to work hard and get better everyday.
He wants to help lay down a foundation, so that the program can continue to get better, even after he has moved on to college.
“I’m definitely more vocal than I am in school. I try to help the players,” he began. “Definitely a leadership role. I just try to help out the younger guys focus on the plays, staying positive and keeping their head up.”
Keeping their heads up may be something that is easier said than done, as the Sting fell to 0-8 following a 13-0 loss to New Life Academy on May 4. But as long as Schleuter can make it through this year, then so can the rest of the team.
This year will certainly part off for the future of Sting baseball as all these young players are gaining valuable experience.
Unfortunately, Schleuter will have graduated by the time everything turns back around, but his leadership, the time he has put in working with the younger players, and the example he has shown by putting the team before himself, are lessons that will remain for years to come.