Two brothers, two sports, one passion

 

Justin St. Peter

In a time of technology, cell phones and videogames during childhood, Marty and Jack Herum grew up with a ball in their hands at all times.

“When it’s 100 degrees outside, a lot of kids go inside for the air-conditioning, playing videogames or something,” River Falls High School baseball coach Ryan Bishop said.

This wasn’t the case, Bishop said, when it came to Marty and Jack, who are now UW-Whitewater student athletes.

Marty Herum is a junior academically and a sophomore athletically. He was the top player for the Warhawks men’s baseball team last year.

Jack Herum, a sophomore academically and a freshman athletically, is a member of the men’s basketball team. He was gray-shirted last year with a back injury. Along for the ride, Jack watched the men’s basketball team win the national title last year.

This season, Jack said he does not figure to break into the rotation but hopes to contribute during his remaining four years of eligibility.

Jack is one year younger than his brother Marty, who has led  the Warhawks men’s baseball team in multiple areas.

He led the team in batting average (.400), hits (82), runs batted in (58), doubles (18), total bases (121) and was second in homers (8).

Marty was the Division-III Midwest Region Rookie of the Year and was nominated to the America Baseball Coaches Association All-America second team.

He helped lead the Warhawks to second place in the WIAC and second in the Midwest Region of the D-III NCAA Baseball Tournament, a game short of making it to the World Series.

Growing up, the brothers competed against each other in baseball, football and soccer. They said their greatest source of competition came from playing basketball.

“We would play one-on-one in the driveway pretty much every night,” Jack Herum said. “He would usually win. I’ll give him that.”

The hard work ethic the brothers developed through competing in the driveway, carried into varsity sports at River Falls High School.

“They didn’t need to go to upperclassmen to earn their respect and try to lead them,” assistant basketball coach Zac Campbell said. “The upperclassmen took to those guys because of how hard they worked and how hard they practiced. It was natural for them [the upperclassmen] to follow.”

Jack played basketball, football and baseball growing up and through high school.

He began to draw attention from most of the WIAC teams near the end of his junior year and beginning of his senior year.

The 6’5” small forward led the River Falls Wildcats to the conference championship during his senior year.

Jack cites the winning tradition of the university and the desire to follow his brother as his motivation for choosing UW-Whitewater.

Marty was also a multi-sport athlete, but his main focus in high school was baseball.

The 6’4” shortstop began to be recruited by Whitewater in the middle of his junior year.

He helped lead the Wildcats to an extra-inning run short of the Wisconsin state tournament in his senior year.

As a kid, Marty’s favorite sport was basketball, but as he grew up, he gravitated toward baseball.

Marty reason for coming to Whitewater was, “mainly the baseball program, because the facilities are so nice there. Their athletics are probably top 15 in the nation.”

Marty looks to improve on his strong season last year and likes the team’s chances thisyear.

“We probably have one of our better teams than we have had in a while,” Marty said. “We always expect to go to the World Series, but we have a good shot at it this year. “

Jack looks to continue to improve and be ready whenever his number is called.

He likes the basketball team’s chances as well.

“We are looking very good,” Marty Herum said. “We have room for improvement with a lot of young guys and a few returners.”

The baseball team returns Marty Herum and several other key starters including junior Jared Fon, sophomore Mike Mierow and junior Dylan Friend.

The physical education majors, who are following in the footsteps of their mom, who is also a gym teacher, look to contribute to the ’Hawks’ winning tradition.

“I’ve driven by the ball field, and I’ve seen their family out there, not just Marty and Jack, but mom and dad, and their sister as well,” River Falls High School baseball coach Ryan Bishop said. “Their family support has just been incredible.”

They said they will continue to lead by example and make sure their teammates follow suit.

“They were very respectful kids, and I am blessed to have had them in my program,” Bishop said.

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