NORFOLK, NE – As Northeast Community College gets ready for its first-ever baseball season, Coach Marcus Clapp said he’s excited to see his team start playing.
“For me, it’s how these guys are going to handle competition, handle adversity and handle success. All of the above. And just to get out and play somebody else. Put on the Northeast uniform and get after it.”
Northeast will play most of its home baseball games at Veterans Memorial Field in Norfolk. The new sport is a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II program in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC).
Clapp, who is originally from McCook, previously served as the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK)’s assistant baseball coach and as an event manager for the Loper athletic department. He was the pitching coach for the Lopers, where he cultivated a very solid pitching staff for the program, including developing a first team All-Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association pitcher during the 2016 season. Before his work at UNK, Clapp was the assistant baseball coach at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona for nine seasons.
The Hawks’ roster consists of 29 freshmen. Three redshirt freshmen have transferred from other institutions: Tanner Hunt, Elkhorn, from UNK; Lane Koetter, Grand Junction, CO, from Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon; and Drew Smith, Elkhorn, from Creighton University.
“We’re obviously young, but at a junior college, you’re always young. You always have freshmen and sophomores,” Clapp said.
Members of the team include Brennen Bales, Nebraska City; Christian Dumont, Bellevue; Alex Fetters, Solomon, KS; Justin Frye, Greeley, CO; Cade Halvorson, Fruita, CO; Caleb Hartmann, Fremont; Kaden Hendrix, Fremont; Cale Hlavac, Omaha; Tanner Hunt, Elkhorn; Joe Jaramillo, Broomfield, CO; Colin King, Fairbanks, AK; Zack Knapp, Crofton; Heath Koehler, Norfolk; Travis Koesters, Papillion; Lane Koetter, Grand Junction, CO; Jarod Morris, Milford, KS; Jared Nemec, Nebraska City; Dylan Nicholson, Papillion; Austin Papstein, Norfolk; Blake Radke, Parker, CO; David Richardson, Bellevue; Domanique Sanders,Fountain, CO; Jean Santos, Caguas, Puerto Rico; Drew Smith, Elkhorn; Cole Spears, Grand Junction, CO; Jackson Tingwald, Ralston; Bryce Walker, Papillion; Donovan Warren, Omaha; and Dylan Wright, Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, Australia.
Bladen Bales and Brad Jarreau will serve as assistant coaches.
Clapp said that after practicing indoors, the team is ready to move outside.
“We are very fortunate to have a great indoor facility to practice in, but it’s always nice to get outside and take ground balls and hit. The team’s coming together, and they are excited and ready to play.”
Northeast opens its season on Thursday and Friday when they travel to Hesston, KS, to face Hesston College in two doubleheaders.
The Hawks’ first home game will be on Sunday, February 18, when they face Cloud County Community College (KS) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Veterans Memorial Field.