Woodward-Granger baseball seniors will walk away from final season with good memories

Libbie Randall - Sports
Cole Theisen makes a play at first during a game earlier this season. PHOTO BY LIBBIE RANDALL/THE PERRY CHIEF

Summer is almost halfway over and that means the 2018 baseball season will soon be over as well. For most athletes, they have a chance to get better and be back on the same team next season. For three Woodward-Granger seniors it is a time to leave everything on the field.

Nick Brummond, Matt Buch and Cole Thesien each got their diploma several weeks ago, but their high school careers did not come to end. Besides being dominant at the ball diamond, these seniors share much more in common when it comes to this sport and this season.

Theisen joined the Woodward-Granger school district going into his sophomore year of high school. He has spent every year since playing on the baseball team. Theisen has been around baseball most of his life. Growing up he played T-ball and says he was greatly influenced to pursue the sport by his parents.

Theisen has also participated in cross country, track and basketball. His favorite memory from his time spent on the baseball team was winning the conference game at Van Meter in the spring of 2017. Something Theisen is very proud of, is his ability to set a new school record ERA in a single season, which he achieved during the 2017 season.

When asked what he likes most about this particular program, Theisen highlighted the community he feels among the players and coaches.

“[I like] the fact that the coaches are so inclusive and willing to work with us,” Theisen said. “It is a growing community in the sense that with the numbers we have, we can still produce a high level performance.”

Theisen plans to attend William Penn next year where he will play baseball and study sports management.

Brummond has a history of the game among his family. Brummond started playing T-ball in elementary school while his dad coached. With the influence of his dad, Brummond went on to enjoy playing the game.

After moving to W-G before his freshman year of high school, baseball was not entirely on his radar. Once he had met with Head Coach Eric Evans, Brummond decided to pursue baseball again. In his four years as a Hawk, Brummond also participated in golf and basketball.

His favorite memory from his four seasons was when the Hawks took on Eddyville-Blakesburg at home. The team had the opportunity to dress however they wanted for that day and Brummond decided on sporting a cut-off suit jacket and pants. Brummond fondly remembers having the chance to redeem himself at the beginning of his junior year season following a trying sophomore season.

Brummond says he appreciates how his teammates and coaches all work together.

“At the beginning of the season Coach Evans said he doesn’t want to coach the game for us,” Brummond said. “He wants to coach the game with us and that stood out to me.”

This fall Brummond will attend Iowa State University.

Buch was influenced to play this game by members of his family, but in a different way. Growing up, Buch remembers seeing his dad play slow pitch which he attributes to his interest in the sport. From there his dad would help to teach and coach him along his baseball career.

Buch has attended Woodward-Granger high school all four years and has also participated in football, basketball and golf.

When asked what his favorite memory was, Buch made his other two senior teammates laugh.

“We were at batting practice last year,” Buch said. “I hit a fly ball to the infield and smoked [one of the assistant coaches] on the top of the head.”

Although this was his favorite memory, Buch had told a different story for his proudest accomplishment while on this team. In the 2017 season Buch recalls setting two school records; one being Theisen’s ERA record and the other for most wins in one season.

Buch says he appreciates the W-G program because of the coaching staff.

“We all have a great time out here and every day is a good day,” Buch said. “We come out here and compete when we need to and have fun when we want to.”

Buch plans to start a welding apprenticeship this fall.

Despite having very different academic plans, Coach Evans says he sees great leadership in all three of this year’s seniors.

“[The seniors] have stuck with it every year. We’ve called on them a lot in a lot of different roles this year,” Coach Evans said. “They do anything that is asked of them and I can count on them in the lineup every day. They also bring the young guys along as they act like other coaches.”

The Woodward-Granger Hawks will play their last regular season baseball game at Iowa Christian Academy on Friday, July 6.