Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Conversation With the Ole Miss Club Athlete of the Year

By Adam Bergeron
IMC student
hottytoddynews@gmail.com

No. 11 Will McDonald runs across the baseball diamond. Photo submitted

Club sports have been on the rise at the University of Mississippi, and who better to talk to then the reigning Ole Miss Club Athlete of the Year. Will McDonald is a junior infielder all the way from Connecticut. McDonald is an inspiring athlete along with being the vice president of the baseball club. 

As a star athlete, you learn the game from a very young age. McDonald grew up and started playing baseball at the age of eight. Other sports began to follow as he became versed in basketball as well.  

Primarily, McDonald plays first base, but he has the ability to move all around the diamond. 

“I can dabble into other positions and pitch occasionally, but primarily play first base,” he  said.” A versatile player can be very important on any team. Will has the ability to fill a  position anywhere on the field given any circumstances.  

With the surge of COVID-19, a lot of sporting events have been put on hold and even pushed to next year. It is indeed a strange time for the country and the world itself.  Sports are finally starting to reemerge, giving some people a piece the “normal” they are so desperately seeking. College sports, on the other hand, are a little more indecisive given the fact they have to oversee thousands of students. Club sports are no different. However, McDonald sounds hopeful about what the future holds for his team as they follow COVID-19 guidelines.  

“As of now, we can’t travel for games, so we have been practicing and doing inner squad scrimmages,” McDonald said. “We hope to be able to travel and participate in the NCBA this spring if things loosen up.”  

Players have been very optimistic about getting the chance to play this spring season. 

Around the country, one may hear stories of guys on club teams getting a “call-up” to the University team and making an impact. Given the hidden talent most guys have on the club team, it would seem there may be a chance at a connection for some of the players.

However, when asked about the process, McDonald said “That just doesn’t happen here.”  

Unfortunately, the club team does not have any connections to the University team.

“Maybe it’s something the real team can look into,” McDonald said. There are some guys who can ball.”

Some of the best memories are made from bonding with teammates. When a team travels together they become so much closer and create a lifelong bond. McDonald said his  favorite memory from Club Baseball up to this point is, “being able to travel to different  universities and different parts of the country.” He felt it was very important to experience different places and get a sense of culture at other schools.

Overall, Club Baseball has been a force for good in McDonald’s life.