Minneapolis, Minn. – Freshman Jack Wassel comes to the University of Minnesota from Geneva, Ill. He was named all-conference and all-area his final two seasons at Geneva High School.
Gophersports.com spoke with Wassel about school, baseball and some of his memories of his freshman year.
GopherSports.com: How did you get into baseball?
Jack Wassel: My dad played baseball when he was young so he made me start playing baseball at a very young age starting with t-ball. As I grew older, going from t-ball to little league to travel ball and to high school I started to realize how much I loved the game of baseball and that I wanted to play it for as long as I can.
GS: Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
JW: I chose the University of Minnesota because of its rich tradition and the coaches. When I visited here they made me feel right at home. The guys were great to be around and the coaches really seemed to know what they were doing. I knew I had to come here after that visit.
GS: What is your top baseball accomplishment so far?
JW: My top baseball accomplishment so far is getting the opportunity to play Division I baseball at a top program like the University of Minnesota. I feel very blessed with this opportunity and I look forward to making the most of it.
GS: Why do you enjoy baseball?
JW: I enjoy baseball because of the game itself. Every aspect of the game challenges me not just physically and mentally. I believe the game has made me a stronger person overall.
GS: What are your interests outside of baseball?
JW: My interests outside of baseball are listening to music and playing other sports like football and basketball.
GS: Have you learned anything new while being at the University of Minnesota?
JW: I have learned that my time here is so short. As of now it may seem like I have a lot of time but I don’t. These four years are going to fly by and all I know is that I need to make the most of this opportunity I have.
GS: Who is your favorite athlete?
JW: My favorite athlete is Addison Russell, the shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. He is an up and coming star just at 22 years old. He is very humble and I like watching the way he plays the game of baseball at such a young age.
GS: Being a freshman, do you ask the upperclassmen for advice on how to succeed as a player as well as academically?
JW: Yes I do. I have asked multiple upperclassmen including Micah Coffey and Toby Hanson on how they approach every at bat. What gives them the best odds when stepping up to the plate. Also, coming in to college I had no idea how to manage the college lifestyle of a Division I athlete so I had to look for some advice from the other guys and they sure have been helpful.
GS: How has your first year of college been? Any moments that stick out?
JW: My first year of college has been great so far. I feel I have really settled in and have gotten into a groove. One moment that has stuck out to me was before a Wednesday lift our Weight Trainer, JD, offered if someone could made a half-court shot we wouldn’t have conditioning Thursday morning. JD picked Nick Lackney to shoot it and “Lack” grabbed the ball and without hesitation sunk it. But that’s not what was great, as we jumped on Nick to celebrate fellow freshman Eli Wilson all of a sudden puked right next to everyone as we celebrated. It was really funny but thanks to Nick Lackney, I didn't have to wake up at six a.m. the next day. Shout-out to “Lack”!
GS: What are your thoughts about the fall Steak N’ Beans Series?
JW: The series was great. It was the first time I got to see the team play together even though we were split up. I learned many new things in just three games. I can only imagine what I will learn when the season comes around.
GS: What are you looking forward to during the spring season?
JW: Just to get out there with the guys and start playing ball, all while having fun doing it. I love the guys here and I can’t wait to get the season started.
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