SPRING VALLEY, WI – Good bye. Adios. Sayonara. Good riddance. Those, among many others, have been used over the last week or so in regards to the long, wet, and ridiculous winter that we have endured here in the Midwest this year.
At this time last week, we were still sitting with around ten inches of snow. Things were looking bleak. Schools were shutdown. Church services were cancelled. The optimism surrounding baseball was minimal.
Then something happened. The sun showed up. Blue skies were seen glowing in the Valley. Temperatures were increasing, even to 69 degrees. Nice.
While there are still traces of snow to be seen, Mother Nature decided that it was time for spring to arrive. With that, baseball season is upon us. High school seasons are getting underway, finally, and collegiate seasons are in the midst of the dog days of April with rescheduled games and doubleheaders being played seemingly every other day.
Along with that, the 2018 Spring Valley Hawks baseball season is upon us. As I type this, less than 48 hours separate us from taking the field and opening our season against the Eau Claire Cavaliers. While some of our players will still be away at college, concluding their respective baseball seasons and cramming for exams and final papers, the rest of our guys are eager to get started.
Frankly, we are sick and tired of throwing and hitting in a gymnasium. Along with that, I am sick of having to be so close to a few of them. The baseball field allows for space, which comes in handy when having to smell the anal salutes from Brandon Walczak. If you have never been within range of one of those, consider yourself lucky.
A few things have happened over the off-season that we should acknowledge. The aforementioned Walczak and his wife Angela grew their family with the birth of their son, Brody. To our knowledge, Brody is the first little to join the Hawks family. Like I said, to our knowledge; lord only knows if there are others running around from some of these dirt bags. Let’s hope not.
Another significant occurrence was Brady Schroeder getting engaged to his girlfriend Emily. Brady becomes the second Hawk to get engaged over the last year, joining Nate Lemler and his fiancée Jewell. Sources are telling those close to the Hawks that more engagements could be coming over the next few months. Could it be one of the popular picks Zach Hunter? Maybe a dark horse in TJ Walenski? We will wait and see, of course, but every engagement, wedding, and child birth comes with a stipulation that it cannot affect your baseball performance. That is written in blood, sweat, and sem…wait, never mind.
Anyway – with this opening day edition of Rumblings, we usually throw out some bold, or not so bold, predictions for the upcoming season. Some are damn near guarantees while others are complete and utter non-sense, but it serves its purpose of entertainment for the eight people that read this. With that said, here we go:
Three members of the Hawks will join the 100 hit club. Those three players would be Zac Balsiger, Brett Weinfurter, and Joey Helmer. The question isn’t whether they will join, but when. All three are impressive in their own right. For Balsiger & Helmer, the two of them hit around the Mendoza Line for the first couple seasons of their Hawks careers, so to be close to this accomplishment is quite cool. Weinfurter will only be playing in his third full year with the Hawks, making his as equally impressive. Currently, three other Hawks are part of this club, all of whom are still active. Maybe these guys will all receive a plaque or something for this accomplishment, or maybe they will just receive a slap on the behind and a half eaten jalapeno popper from Sneakers.
Cam Hirshfeld & Dylan Willett will record their 50th career stolen base at the same time. These two have been going back and forth this offseason with a little bit of friendly trash talk. The fans voted earlier this offseason as to whom they felt would win this, and it was a tie; much like the respective stolen base totals for each player. Hirshfeld (38) and Willett (37) are as close as two can get as far as a race goes, so this one should be fun to watch. Let’s just hope this race isn’t spoiled by a broken finger nail or something for these two.
Taylor Prey will bitch about his playing time. More commonly known as “TP” or “Newt” within the family, Prey has never been one to shy away from letting it be known that he wants to play. As a coach, you can’t ask for much more. A player that wants to play. A throwback in a sense given the lack of commitment and desire we see from players in 2018. Let’s just say that this prediction has already happened, so you can cross it off the list.
The HawkTalk Podcast will jump to #1 in the country. Alright, this one is pretty much a load of BS, but we had to get a quick plug in for the podcast. Yes, we started a podcast over the offseason, thanks Balsiger who has assumed the role as executive producer. If you haven’t listened to the podcast, what the hell is wrong with you? You should. We talk about a number of topics, which does include baseball. Hard to believe, considering the degenerates on this team, huh? If you want to listen, let us know. For the protection of some of our players and their employment, we have it under lock and key.
Tim Bott will get ejected from a game. Let’s put this out there before anything. Tim is one of the most genuine, respectful, and nicest guys you would ever have the pleasure of meeting. It’s just, he likes to talk. He likes to get under the skin of people, particularly the opponent, and will voice his displeasure if he doesn’t feel an umpire makes the correct call. It is all in the spirit of the game, which Tim loves. Just ask his mother, he can get a bit mouthy sometimes.
Matt Brandeen will get a hit. If there is one player on the team who epitomizes a PO (pitcher only), it would be Brandeen. Sandeen Brandeen the Wood Splitter, as he is called by some, completely shattered a bat in his one and only at bat in 2017. There is a reason why this lone at bat came in the final game of the 2017 season, but sources say he has been hitting the cage hard this offseason at St. Thomas. Not as hard as he hits the Four Loko’s with the biddies at St. Thomas, but hard. He wasn’t a terrible hitter in high school either, but neither was Aaron Esanbock and we have seen how that has worked out.
Someone will set a new record for the Hawks two pound burger challenge. If you haven’t heard, one of our sponsors, Sneakers Pub & Eatery, has a two pound burger challenge that anyone can participate in. A two pound brick of ground beef, mimicking the chest hair of Scott Sayles or Casey Ryan, topped with whatever you want on it and some fixings on the side. 30 minutes. Many have tried, but only few have succeeded. Long ago a gentleman named Matt Sparks attempted and absolutely crushed it. We never saw him after accomplishing this feat, so who knows if he perished following the challenge. Maybe it took him down as it has many others. Anyway, the active Hawk who holds the record is the aforementioned Bott who crushed it in like fifteen minutes last summer. He dominated it so much that he was actually calling for seconds. There are many who have said they would attempt this challenge, but have ultimately chickened out. Will one of them man up and become the new Hawks king of the two pound burger challenge? Time will tell.
Well, there you have it. Regardless of how fast you read, you probably just wasted more of your day than you should have. A lot of that was just non sense but we certainly hope some of it comes true; especially the two pound burger challenge!
We have high expectations and hopes for the upcoming season, and we hope that you’ll stop down and catch a game. We appreciate all our sponsors, fans, families, friends, and everyone else who has helped establish ourselves along the way. We look forward to representing the Spring Valley community through the game of baseball, and cannot wait to get started. It is Saturday yet? #hawksnation
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