Infielder Bryan Sturdevant aims for spring season

MVP Q&A

The+Beloit+Snappers+minor+league+baseball+team+welcomed+the+UW-Whitewater+family+on+Saturday%2C+Aug.+17%2C+2019%2C+for+a+tailgate+social%2C+t-shirt+giveaway+and+a+ceremonial+first+pitch+by+Willie+Warhawk.+

UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner

The Beloit Snappers minor league baseball team welcomed the UW-Whitewater family on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, for a tailgate social, t-shirt giveaway and a ceremonial first pitch by Willie Warhawk.

Hannah Michalowski, Sports Editor

Senior baseball player Bryan Sturdevant has high expectations for the upcoming season. 

COVID-19 cut the team’s success short last year after just three games, so the infielder hopes to start at second base this spring. Sturdevant has been a versatile utility player for the Warhawks and started all three games in 2020. Going into his final season, he wants to work as a role model for the younger guys on the team. 

How long have you been on the Whitewater baseball team?

This will be my fifth year: senior year in the classroom and junior year on the field technically, with the whole COVID situation.

What position are you?

I was playing second base last year, but I have been a utility player in the past. I try to play as many positions as much as I can to stay in the lineup as much as possible.

How were you first introduced to baseball?

Growing up in a competitive family I always had some type of ball in my hand whether it was a baseball, or football. My parents really guided me in the right direction and I am so grateful because I have met some of the best people throughout my life.

While at Burlington High School, did you always know you’d want to play in college?

I was actually just set on coming to Whitewater for school, but after our state championship run in 2016 that influenced me to keep challenging myself with better competition and I thought Whitewater was a great opportunity to do that with the facilities and competitive athletes that want to win a national championship. 

What role do you see yourself in at the time?

Now coming in as an upperclassmen, I’m just trying to make sure that the core values our coach really instills and emphasizes sticks with the younger guys because if you have that the maturity of the teams grows. You don’t just see that on the field, but in life too. I am confident with myself and I see myself as an older brother and someone they can look up to.

Was there anything you weren’t expecting entering college baseball?

I thought my best friends growing up we’re the best guys I had ever met, but going into college baseball the guys from day one took me in as a younger brother and matured me on the field and off the field – and for that I couldn’t be more thankful for. The atmosphere of the guys really shook me when I came in.

After the cancellation of the season after three games last year, how did that affect you?

Now knowing that the whole season, or something as simple as practices, can be taken away just with the snap of a finger is just something I never expected before that. It made me realize nothing can be taken for granted. Even going into this season, we don’t know what will happen so I really just emphasize that mindset to practice and play every day like it will be your last. This is my last season of baseball ever and I want to make the most of what I have left. 

Do you have high hopes for the coming season?

The expectation being at Whitewater is to always compete for that conference and national championship and I think this is a group of guys who really focus on getting on percent better each day and that’s the main goal. Not peaking too early or too late, but really just progressing through the year and we have a great group of core guys who take that really seriously. I’m very excited for this season and I think we will compete at a very high level.

What is something you would tell younger kids reading this who want to play at the next level?

Keep playing as many sports for as long as you can. I know a lot of sports now are really making you pick one and stick with it the whole year, but coaches love competitors. Find ways you can compete in multiple sports and different positions, and never limit yourself. 

While it is still uncertain whether sports will be held in the spring, Sturdevant and the UW-Whitewater baseball team are giving it their all during the off season to prepare either way. With a strong group of leaders and coaches, the team believes they are contenders for not only the conference title, but national championship as well.

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