"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, January 17, 2011
Hey guys welcome back to the 2011 installment of "On the Bump"! It's been almost two months since the last blog, but from here on out I will be giving you guys a weekly update on the life of the Centenary Gents baseball team.

It's been a pretty quiet past two months around the facilities. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas break we have not had many team functions. However, we did have a few highlights in December.

Each Christmas the Centenary baseball team travels down the road to Shriner's Children's Hospital to visit the kids. It is an extremely rewarding experience for our team. It is awesome to be able to brighten their day and see them smile. While they may look up at us as college athletes, we admire them just as much because they teach us to endure through struggles. Their joy is abundant and you can't help but smile when you see their faces light up. Also, props to freshman Trey Bishop for being a great Santa Claus and putting a smile on all the kids' faces.

Another fun team activity we participated in was a team trip to play some paintball. It was fun to get to go out and hang out with the teammates one last time before Christmas break. Unfortunately, the freshmen were victorious over the returners, transfers, and coaching staff. We put up a pretty good fight, but we were outnumbered and couldn't quite overcome the deficit.

This past Saturday we had a "workday" on the field. Yes, even at the Division I level we still work on our field. While it's never fun to put in the work at the time, it's so rewarding to see our efforts bloom in March and April when the field looks pristine. Our facility is one of the top places to play in the Summit League, and that is a fact that we take great pride in. The top upgrade we made was to add new turf, cages, and netting to the hitting facility behind the 1st base dugout. We can now use the roofed cages for batting practice, pitching, live defense, and even live hitting because each of the individual cages can be drawn back to turn the cage into an 80 ft. x 50 ft. area as well.

As I stated in my last blog, I go to work each day with 31 of my closest brothers. However, due to attrition, injury, and grades, it is now 26 of my closest brothers and me. We are a little short-handed, but I believe this won't affect us at all. If anything it will make our team stronger and closer. Personally, I think it creates a much better team atmosphere and chemistry when someone that doesn't want to be there leaves. We need every single guy to be pulling on the same end of the rope. If any aspiring college athletes are reading this please remember it is important to keep your grades up. It is a waste of time for coaches and teammates to help you throughout the fall if you don't make the grades to play in the spring.

Overall, I am pretty pumped for the season to get started up! It will be nice to see all of the effort and hard work guys have put in for the last 8 months be put to use. As an old coach once said, "you practice 8 months to play 4". Needless to say, the returners have been chomping at the bit to get back on the field and the new guys are just as ready to get out on the diamond and experience baseball at its purest form. College baseball is the highest level of baseball you can experience without being paid to play. Its really neat to think about it in that perspective because that is something that nobody can ever take away from you.

Thanks for reading and we will be back next week!

This week I interviewed our 2 senior leaders, Justin Kraft and Derek Dalzell. They have played an instrumental role this year as they are the only players on the roster to have spent all 4 years of their college career at Centenary.

Justin Kraft - Senior/Yakima, Washington
Q: What is your major?
A: Geology

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: Ipod, blanket and pillow

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Seattle Mariners

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Sportscenter or any show on History Channel

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: In Alaska owning and running a brewery

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Wedding Crashers or anything with Kevin Bacon.

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Switzerland to backpack

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I wrestled in the regional tournament in high school.

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: It was my number throughout little league

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: John Olerud, Bear Grylls, and Brad Meltzer

Derek Dalzell - Senior/Bay City, Michigan
Q: What is your major?
A: Geology

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: cards and ipod

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Detroit Redwings/ Tigers

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: late show with David Letterman

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: living the dream out west with a great girl/job/lifestyle

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Mystery Alaska

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Camping trip to an exotic landscape (Alaska,Colorado,Montana, Europe?)

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: prefer winter activities over summer activities

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: Seemed like the best choice besides #3

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: My father and both grandfathers.