By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Owasso will be sending more baseball players to the college ranks this summer after graduation.
Two of those athletes who are headed to the Division-I ranks: Nate Wohlgemuth to the University of Arkansas and Jack Hammond to the University of Kansas.
Wohlgemuth, a pitcher and an outfielder, said there were three things on his list he wanted to have in choosing his collegiate destination. “That was the environment, does it feel like home? The coaches, am I going to get better? And the facilities, can I get better by putting time in by myself in hitting and throwing pins? Do they have the type of facilities that would get me better,” Wohlmeguth said.
Wohlgemuth chose Arkansas over TCU, OU and Vanderbilt. He believes Razorback coaches probably saw a hard-working baseball player with good attributes on the mound, in the outfield and at the plate.
Hammond, a second baseman, felt like he fit right in when he visited Kansas.
“When I got there, I was welcomed with open arms by all the coaches and players,” he said. “They just kind of felt like I’d been there for many years before. They all talked to me like I was a part of the team. I talked to some people around the community and they all love it. It’s a big sports school and the campus is super nice.
“I met a bunch of the players and hung out with them on my visits. All really cool guys,” Hammond said.
“My whole family is from Kansas, so that helped a little bit,” he added.
He chose KU over the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Missouri State University and Kansas State University.
Hammond said that Jayhawk coaches told him he had an edge.
“They said I was a difference-maker on the field,” he said. “I’m like the first guy talking, letting everybody know what’s going on and that I play with a toughness that is getting harder to find, and that mainly comes from wrestling because you have to be mentally tough. Winning is just everything to me, so I’ll do whatever I have to do to help the team win. I’m super competitive. I think they just saw that in me.”
While both players are excited about their Division-I futures, Wohlgemuth and Hammond are hoping to bring home a championship to Owasso after early exits from the state tournament in recent years.
“I think not letting the game get bigger than it is will be important,” Wohlgemuth said. “Sometimes we get in there and get away from what we know as best and that is playing fundamentally sound baseball. We make too many mistakes when we get to the first round, but I think we have a mature team this year. We’re going to have a lot of seniors on the field and I think, just with the maturity, it will help us get to the first round.”
“That’s the whole reason why I came over here because of all the history that they’ve (Owasso) had,” Hammond said. “I think it’s the same with Nate and me. We just want to leave our mark on the team and bring a title home. We don’t care about all the individual things we accomplish. It’s great, but our main goal is to win the title. Nobody will remember you if you lose. We want to be remembered for being good leaders and bringing home the title.”