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SSU baseball team working to renovate Branch Rickey Park

Shawnee State University’s new head baseball coach Rob Ehlers brought with him a strong work ethic and demand for doing things the right way. One of his priorities has been making the baseball facility, Branch Rickey Park, look the best it can for the upcoming season.

Upon his arrival at Shawnee, Ehlers assessed the work that needed to be put into the baseball field, such as repairing faulty sprinklers, removing weeds that were growing in the infield and surrounding the entirety of the field, and addressing issues with the grass in the outfield. Ehlers gathered his players to work together to fix these issues as a team. The team started by pulling weeds, spraying for them, edging the infield grass, seeding the field for new grass, replacing the batter’s eye, recentering the rubber on the pitcher’s mound and painting the walls with help from members of the community.

Within the next few weeks, the team will be laying down 48 tons of dirt in the infield to make the playing surface level once again. With the work put in by Ehlers and the SSU baseball team, Branch Rickey Park is beginning to look the best it has since around 2016.

The dedication that Ehlers has put into making Branch Rickey Park look its best has rubbed off on his players as they take pride in playing on a field that looks nice and gives them something to be proud of. The Shawnee State baseball team has put in hard work, dedication and lots of sweat into making the field a safer, nicer-looking field to play on.

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About the Contributor
Dylan Driskill, Staff Writer
Dylan Driskill is in his senior year at Shawnee State University, studying sports management to be a college baseball coach. He loves baseball and doesn’t want to step away, so he plans to keep in touch with the game through coaching. He started playing baseball at 7 and hasn’t had a desire to leave the sport since. As a coach, he wants other players to know and love baseball as much as he does. His dedication doesn’t apply just to baseball. He describes himself as a “devout” Christian with the roots of his faith beginning at home. Dylan describes his faith as his own, saying that it is a personal conversion. Dylan grew up in Kaufman, Texas, attending a non-denominational church called C-life. He participated in vacation Bible school growing up, where he learned about the Bible, and a church-based basketball organization called Upward. Between basketball games, coaches and players would practice Bible verses and talk about the Bible.  His parents instilled good manners, faith and southern hospitality in him as a child. He described southern hospitality as saying, “yes ma’am” and “no sir” and giving thanks. He was taught to thank God before meals and to thank others when they do something kind for you. He knew what the word respect meant and how to act respectfully. These values were taught to him by his parents. He calls his father the most influential person in his life. He says that his dad has been through a lot mentally and physically, and he was able to come through strong. Because of his strength through challenges, Dylan considers his father a great role model who has helped shape him into the person he is today.  When asked what he would tell his younger self, Dylan's response was “to not take things for granted.” He said that if he had taken school, working out, health and life more seriously than he did, he would have felt more confident and prepared for life than he really was when he graduated high school. 

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