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February Alumni Spotlight - Tanner Nowatzki (2015)

You have been offered a spot at Westminster to play for their baseball team.  Tell me about the recruiting experience that you have had thus far and any advice you could offer to our current players in regards to the process of getting play beyond HS.

The recruiting process can seem very overwhelming at first, but it becomes less complicated as you go through with it. The process for me began around the summer heading into my junior year of high school. This is about the time where looking for colleges becomes very important, so you have to make sure you have a broad range of schools that you have interests in. Many factors contributed to the eight-or-so schools that I developed interest in: academics, the baseball program, school atmosphere, location, size, major, etc. I applied to every school that I showed even the slightest interest in and got in touch with the baseball coaches.

Junior year was a busy one for me, but I learned a lot more about myself as not only a baseball player, but as a person, as well. The ACT, taking multiple AP and college-level classes, and additional extracurricular activities made it hard to find time to set aside for my college search, but I still did it. Even after junior year was over heading into senior year, I still was not sure about what school I wanted to attend, but I had made a lot of progress. Benedictine College, Central Methodist University, and Westminster College were my final options with Benedictine College actually being my first choice. Keep all of your options open and realize that the position you play may not be one that a certain college has a need for.  This was the case for me with Benedictine.  They liked my athleticism but were not short on outfielders.  Central Methodist made an offer, but I made the decision to attend Westminster College because it just seemed like a better fit. I do not regret it one bit.

Derek Jeter once said that “there may be people who have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.” Picking and choosing a college is not as easy as it sounds and you must work hard to make a decision to improve your baseball skill sets, keep your grades up, and participate in other activities so you don’t have limited options. You have to be committed if you really want to play college baseball. College baseball coaches are, of course, looking to see how well you can play baseball, but they are also looking for your effort and commitment to their school. It is easy enough to tell the coach how interested you are, but are you really distinguishing yourself from the competition if everyone is saying it? Go on college visits, ask for a tryout, attend various camps, ask a lot of questions, and prove your determination on and off the baseball diamond.

After playing for IMPACT for 1 season, how has that experience shaped both the player and person you have become?  How has it affected your baseball experience the past season with another program?

Playing baseball for IMPACT in the summer of 2015 was the best summer of baseball I have ever played. Not a single person on the team was there for their own benefit. It was a real team, and we had the best team chemistry compared to all the other teams I have ever played for. IMPACT made me a better, smarter baseball player, and it also made me a better person in life. High school can be a tough time for some kids and knowing that you have God by your side through these times makes it easier. I thank God for the ability to have a great life and be able to go to a prestigious college and play baseball.

What do you intend to study while at Westminster?  What are some short and long term goals you might have for your next four years (both academic and athletic)?

I intend to study Accounting at Westminster. My short-term goals include improving my baseball skills between now and the summer so I am well-improved and ready for the fall. I plan to finish my senior year on a high note both academically and athletically and save some money for college by working a little bit this summer, also. My long-term goals include achieving my Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting at Westminster and my Masters in Accounting at Washington University in St. Louis using the 4+1 accounting program offered at Westminster. I also plan to make myself the best baseball player I can be and hopefully have the opportunity to play professional baseball someday if I get the chance. Lastly, I hope to keep in touch with my friends from high school while also building strong relationships with the people at Westminster. I will work as hard as I can to accomplish these goals.