May 23, 2012
The five Gopher seniors weigh in on some of their favorite memories, share advice to the younger players and what they'll miss the most about being in the dugout with the Golden Gopher Baseball team.
Q: Favorite Gopher Memory?
Kyle Geason: "That is a tough one because there is a lot for me. Making it to different NCAA Regionals both were a lot of fun, but I would have to say 2010. We kind of struggled throughout the year, and it took us a while to get going, but once we started playing well we just killed it through the Big Ten season. Throughout the end of that season we won the Big Ten regular season and then the tournament. It was a really fun time because we were all playing so well, and were up on a really high experience."
Dustin Klabunde: "I would have to say winning the 2010 Big Ten title and being a part of that team. Obviously that was a good team, and nothing really beats winning the title. That is the goal every year, so being able to do it that year in 2010, would have to be my best memory."
Ethan Liederman: "It's really hard for me to pinpoint any particular memories that stand out. My whole four years has seemed like one great memory. I'd have to say I enjoy the day-to-day jokes the teammates have with each other on the team. The little things for me, like being able to go out and play a game every day with your friends as well as enjoy the college experience together have been the most exciting memories to look back on."
Austin Lubinsky: "I can't even narrow that down to one. Every day we like to have fun, whether that is at a game, practice, or on the road. Sometimes the plane rides are a lot of fun also, at the airport we have a lot of delays there so we find things to do to have a good time, instead of looking at the delays as a bad memory. All the time spent around the guys, I am a guy who likes to stay loose, I like to have a good time and joke around so every moment you could pin down to a good moment with this team."
Trip Schultz: "My favorite moment I think, without question would just have to be winning the Big Ten Championship in 2010. Winning the regular season and then being able to win the tournament too, that year there was not a split title. So just being a part of that team and then going to the LSU Regional the year before was a huge memory too, but I think the Big Ten Championship for sure."
Q: What will you miss the most?
KG: "The connections, with not only the players, but with the coaches and parents as well. It is going to be tough to get into the real world and not be able to come here every day and play baseball. Our coaches always told us that there is going to be a day that someone tells you that you cannot play anymore and that you have to go home, which is tough. It will be bittersweet, because you still have the relationships that you have already connected with through the coaches and the players. But playing baseball, I have done that my whole life, so it is going to be hard letting that go."
EL: "I think I'm going to miss the little things the most. The day-to-day jokes between teammates have definitely given me some my hardest laughs. I'd be lying if I said wouldn't miss being able to go out and play baseball from fall through spring. Most of the guys on the team grow up loving the game and being able to go out every day to play baseball has been incredible. College is one of the best times of our lives, with so little responsibility compared with life after college. "
DK: "I am going to miss a lot of things. Being able to show up at the park every day, being with a bunch of guys who care about being there and getting better and who have the same goal as you; that is one thing where if you go to other levels it is not necessarily like that. College baseball in general, it is a great thing."
AL: "The guys on the team, the relationships that I have built with the coaches and team. Being around them every day and having a great time is what I am going to miss the most. Having fun with everyone every day, it will be hard to leave that."
TS: "Probably just miss being around the people. The game of baseball is a great game, but we all have to go home at some point and we have to stop playing it. But the people you meet through all of it, is probably what I will hold onto more than any of it."
Plans after graduation?
KG: "I accepted a sales internship with C.H. Robinson logistics in downtown Minneapolis. They are a very well established company and I am very excited to have this opportunity with them. I'm excited to start working on June 4th!"
DK: "I am looking for a job. I have a business marketing degree with a sports management minor so something to do with that, but I have not decided where it is going to be at. I guess we will see where the next couple of months take me. I want to stay around Minneapolis; I really like it up here since I came here five years ago, so hopefully something comes up around here."
EL: "I will be attending Cornell University in the fall for graduate school. I will definitely miss being here in Minnesota, but it will also be nice to be a little closer to my family back home. The last four years have flown by. I'm proud to say I attended the University of Minnesota and am a part of the Gopher family".
AL: "Right now I am looking for an internship. I still have one more semester left of school, so I need an internship. With the draft, if that comes along, if my heart is there if I get chosen again, I will make that decision with my parents. Otherwise, trying to look for a job and get out into the work field."
TS: "That is a good question, we have not figured that one out yet, we are still working on that one."
Advice to incoming freshman?
KG: "Really buy into the program and really create some good relationships with the coaches and the players. Make an effort to try hard and adapt to the Minnesota style because when you come into this program from high school you have been taught your whole life by either your parents or your high school coaches their style. Our coaches, with the experience, they have they definitely have different styles and methods to the approach of baseball that I never knew when I came in from high school. It was tough to buy into it at first, but once you actually open up and listen to what they are saying you will start having good results. Always respect what they are saying."
DK: "Enjoy your time because it goes really fast. It seems like just the other day I was a freshman going out there for my first out and showing up for my first practice even in the fall, and now it's done. So enjoy it, it goes really fast."
EL: "As cliché as it sounds, I would tell newly incoming freshman to enjoy every day you get to be in college. As a freshman we all come in with very high expectations for ourselves and it's not always easy to live up to them with the new pressures we face in college. The sooner I figured out how great of a life I had in college getting to play a game with my friends nearly every day, the sooner I started to truly enjoy my experience and appreciate it."
AL: "Come in and be yourselves and find the friendships on the team while getting close with some guys. It always seems that the freshman get together, they always live together for the years to come in the dorms, apartments, and houses, so finding those relationships right away is important. Also just being themselves and listening to the older guys. A lot of the older guys know what they are talking about because they have been through it. They have heard it from the older guys when they were freshman and sophomores so just look up to them and have good relationships with everyone on the team."
TS: "The biggest advice I can give is that it goes fast. You have to be prepared at day one to know that your clock is already ticking the day you step onto campus. Every opportunity you have and everything you can do to make yourself better, as a player and as a person, and even the people you meet are all opportunities, are just things you need to cherish."
Advice to next year's senior class?
KG: "Take every opportunity you have to the fullest. These past years have gone by very fast, especially this past year, it flew by! Just go out there and compete with every pitch and every play, because at some point your career will be done. Also, enjoy the friendships and relationships that you have created in your time there. They will last forever, but it will be much different when you are not able to play with the same people every day. Most importantly, have fun!"
DK: "Go out and win another Big Ten title. Put your goal at that and stop at nothing to get there."
EL: A: "I think as a Gopher, we have the expectation to win every year and nothing less. The coaches do a great job bringing in talent that is very capable of keeping the winning tradition on. The freshman, sophomores, and juniors we have currently are great players and will only get better every year. I'd expect nothing less than a Big Ten Championship as I hope all the players expect as well."
AL: "Continue to lead by example. We do not really pin the seniors as the only leaders on the team; all the upperclassmen are going to lead by example as well. We do not look at it as you are a leader if you are a senior; everyone just looks to everyone for advice and to get something away from them in a teaching moment. Guys play different areas in the summer; they pick up on different trends and different situations and what to do in those, so it is just good to listen to those."
TS: "They are the new leaders. Because we do not have captains they know what is going on more than anybody else. So they just need to help the young guys, be prepared to lead, be prepared to have everyone looking up on them, and just be prepared to help the young players and help the team out."
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