Seeing The Path

rooseIt’s just a Monday like any other Monday. The beginning of a new week.

For a few young men on campus it’s a different type of Monday.  For the first time in a long time they are no longer gearing up for next year. 

There’s no specific season to prepare for.

There’s no coach putting together an off-season training plan.

Baseball season is over—came to an end on Saturday and the graduating seniors are turning the page to what’s next.

A few weeks ago I asked some of the seniors to reflect on how they arrived here. 

Another I asked to reflect on the end of their playing days in organized athletics.

I also asked one to take a look back and try to put down in words how he was transformed from a struggling freshman to a senior that was one of the most feared hitters in the league.

It’s a diverse collection of thoughts.

I’m going to start this week with the twisting path of arriving here from small school baseball to junior college to college starter.

That’s the path Trent Roose took.

Turns out baseball was just part of the equation that got him into a Dordt uniform for three years.

Here’s what led him to this point.

Mbyk

Graduation is only a few weeks away.

When people say college goes by in a blink of an eye, I feel like they might be on to something. My three-year experience at Dordt College has been everything I hoped it would be.

I have been challenged in my faith, my character has been strengthened, and the relationships I have developed will be cherished.

But it has been a journey to get to this point.

My dad told me growing up that there are three main decisions that shape a person’s life.

My dad told me growing up that there are three main decisions that shape a person’s life.

The decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Who to choose as a spouse.

Where to attend college.

These are important life decisions that end up molding and shaping an individual.

Looking back to my senior year of high school, the decision of where to attend college was a stressful one. I knew I wanted to play baseball, but everything else seemed to be a big question mark.

I had visited over ten schools – some two-year programs and other four-year. After talking it over with my parents and examining the packages and offers of each school, I narrowed it down to two, North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and Dordt.

After some time, I finally made my decision to attend NIACC in the spring of 2014 mainly because of their strong baseball program.

After some time, I finally made my decision to attend NIACC in the spring of 2014 mainly because of their strong baseball program.

I always loved reading baseball success stories growing up. I read about players who threw seventy miler-per-hour early in their high school careers and are now able to throw ninety-five miles-per-hour in college.

With hard work and a little luck, this kind of player could be getting paid to play the sport he loves.

I thought NIACC was my shot at a success story.

I thought NIACC was my shot at a success story.

While I was there, we ended up making the Junior College World Series. It was an amazing experience to play against some of the most talented freshman and sophomores in the country. From that team, we had around ten to twelve different players commit to Division I schools like Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, and Creighton.

Now, two of my former teammates are playing professionally. It was an exciting experience to be a part of a successful program and see these individuals living their dream. It was a fun year, but something was still missing in my college experience.

While I was at NIACC, I noticed how my walk with Christ wasn’t growing the way I would have liked. I wasn’t forming strong Christian relationships with my teammates or classmates. It was hard to build relationships with others that didn’t share similar beliefs.

It also seemed like every free moment was spent at the baseball field.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved this.

I loved the intense workouts and hours spent at the ballpark. Some weeks I remember putting in around twenty-five to thirty hours of practice. But I constantly felt like the Lord was trying to tell me that there was more to life than sports.

I loved the intense workouts and hours spent at the ballpark. Some weeks I remember putting in around twenty-five to thirty hours of practice. But I constantly felt like the Lord was trying to tell me that there was more to life than sports.

Every once and awhile I would receive different texts about how great Dordt College was from high school friends.

My wife, who I was dating at the time, also kept telling me about the relationships she was developing and the impact Dordt College was having on her faith walk. After praying about it, I took another look at Dordt College. When I re-visited, I noticed how Christ was woven into the athletics and academics, and noticed how He was very evident in relationships between friends, professors, and faculty. This was something I wanted to be a part of.

The baseball team at Dordt College had its struggles in the past but I wanted to be part of a change. Leaving a program that was very successful wasn’t easy. But once I met the coaches and the players at Dordt, I knew I met a group that I could fight with on the field and develop relationships off of it that would last a lifetime.

After you spend three years fighting, pushing one another, and dealing with both adversity and triumphs playing a sport, you feel like a family. With only a couple weeks of baseball left, it is hard to believe that battling on the field with my teammates and coaches is going to come to an end.

Now looking back on my journey, I wouldn’t trade my experiences as a Trojan or a Defender.  Both of these experiences have shaped me to be who I am today.

However, I am especially grateful for the impact Dordt College has had on my life. It is a special place with special people.

Like my dad says, the college you choose really does impact your life.  I’m thankful for the impact Dordt has had and will continue to have on mine.

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