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Baseball coach emphasizes teamwork, commitment

By Enzo Nagao
On September 18, 2015

Baseball is a team-oriented sport, and working well together is one of the goals set forth by Kirkwood Community College’s baseball players.

“You really have to be on the same page,” said Luke Hassman, a sophomore on the team. “The team aspect is something a lot of other schools don’t have, and at the junior college level, it’s something you need,” he said. 

The team has an overall record of 32-22, and a 17-11 conference standing for the 2015 season. However, Head Coach Todd Rima said his players are working hard to continually ensure that they are always getting better. 

“I feel our work ethic is tremendous. Their commitment to improving has been very good, and for [Kirkwood’s team] to compete at the national level, they have to commit to getting better every day,” said Rima.  

Lead pitcher Nick Drahozal said Rima encourages a team atmosphere. “He’s very big on us being a family and us competing for each other, instead of individually. Even if you’re not starting, when you come in, he wants us to do whatever we can to help the team out,” said Drahozal.  

Rima said he also believes in supporting fellow sports teams, and Hassman agreed. “If they win, we all win,” said Hassman. “If we’re helping somebody else out, then we’re helping ourselves in the long run by supporting those other people.”

Rima stated that the baseball program is a “hidden gem” and he invites all students, faculty and staff to attend games. 

Rima said he came to Kirkwood after coaching for 11 years at North Iowa Area Community College. His career began at the University of Northern Iowa, playing and then coaching for a total of three years.

Rima stated, “Kirkwood was a place I had always thought highly of, and I was lucky enough that they chose me to be the baseball coach.” He also mentioned that coaching was a way to “give back to people who are younger.”

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