Passion For The Mound


Photo by Tyler Trice

As he shuffles into his throw towards first base, senior Dylan Epke takes ground balls at third base during an in-field activity on Thursday, March 12.

Tyler Trice, Bullseye Web Editor

Originally published in the Bullseye Issue 2 newsmagazine

Starring for the Maverick baseball team for his fourth year on the clay, senior Dylan Epke is unrivaled in his passion on and off the field. Some play for wealth, others play for status, but for Epke, nothing goes above making his family proud.

“I think I play the hardest for my family,” said Epke. “They have been very involved in my career in baseball and I want to make them proud for all they’ve done for me emotionally and financially so far.”

While Epke is appreciative of the seniors that played before him (Maize South brought home a 4A state championship in May of 2017) he recognizes that the 2020 group of seniors is a solid core and foundation for the future of the program.

“I think it’s really cool to be a part of this program,” said Epke, “I think we have had a couple of groups of bad seniors in the past but I hope we can continue to pass the torch and make the program a lot better than it is today.”

Photo by Tyler Trice
Senior Dylan Epke swings at a high pitch during a routine batting
practice session on Thursday, March 12. This is Epke’s fourth year playing baseball for Maize South and his twelfth year in total playing on the diamond.

Head Baseball Coach Chad Christensen knows his team better than anyone else, and shares a strong bond with his players unrivaled throughout the school.

“We all love to watch him play,” said Christensen. “He has a real passion for the game. He consistently stays after games and practices and it’s refreshing to see that begin to rub off on some of the other players.”

Having been introduced to baseball at a young age and playing for over a decade, Epke fell in love with the sport and has pushed himself to be a solid role model for the younger players on the squad.

“His passion for people sets him aside,” said Christensen. “One of the things we talk about in the senior meetings is who in the program has made a lasting impression and why, so when the younger kids are sitting where they are and see him perform the way he does, they strive to live up to the example he has set for his team.”

He capitalizes on free time after practice early in the season to work on his mechanics and hitting.

“Outside of practice I lift every day twice a day,” Epke stated. “I try to hit the tee and stay late with some dudes after practice is over because once it gets into the season it becomes slower in the field.”

Playing for a professional team is an ambitious goal, but Epke acknowledges the odds of playing in the major leagues and plans for his future off the field as well.

Whether it’s earning money playing baseball or building income in the health field during his work career, Epke believes he’ll contribute to the game one way or another.

“It would obviously be cool to play professionally but I know my body, I know I’m not as big as most of those guys ,” said Epke. “But I think I’ll try to go into coaching and give the younger kids a chance on the field like I got.”