By Andrea Gallegos, Reporter
“Hey, batter batter!”
“Let’s go, baby, you got this!”
Those sayings are mostly what you would expect to hear at a baseball game. These words are encouraging, and Chris Schmalz hears them on a daily basis. That’s right; Chris plays baseball for the CNCC Spartans. He is a freshman here to play ball as well as get his associate of science degree.
Schmalz is originally from Gunnison, Colo. Chris went to school at Gunnison High School, where he was very active in sports. He was the quarterback in football, the center on his hockey team, and he played shortshop on his baseball team.
Chris enjoyed playing baseball so much that he is now playing at the college level.
The CNCC Spartan baseball team practices six days a week, from about 2 p.m. to about 5 p.m. If the players are not at practice, they usually have baseball games or they are on the road traveling.
Playing a sport in college can be considered a full time job with all the practices and games, along with the time required to keep grades up to be eligible. Then there’s the time that they need to spend at the Learning Center to focus on their studies. Being a full time student can also be considered a full time job.
How does Schmalz manage to do both?
“If you are focused, (athletics do) not affect your homework,” Chris stated. This shows that not only is he passionate about baseball, but he also cares about his schooling.
Schmalz comes from a family of five that includes his parents Jeff and Bobbi Schmalz, and sisters Tiffany and Savannah.
“My family means the world to me; I would do anything for them,” Chris stated. His family has their own construction company, and his mom works at a bank.
Chris’ sisters and his grandparents mean a lot to him and have been there for him throughout his sports career.
“My sisters are a big part of my life,” Chris stated. “They mean the world to me, along with my parents and grandparents; they are extremely supportive of my athletics.”
Chris is trying to adjust to living in a smaller town than his hometown. Even though Gunnison is a small town, it is bigger than Rangely; it has more activities for any type of weather and/or season, and has a wider variety of restaurants to choose from.
“(Being here) is a big change, Rangely is way small,” Schmalz stated. “There is nothing to do (ha-ha), and I am not a big fan of Rangely. It’s just too small here for me, but it is what it is.”
In his spare time, he might go the Rec Center to hang out, play a game of pool or a game of ping pong, play racquetball, go swimming, use the cardio room, or hit the weight room.
His hobbies and interests revolve around his busy sports schedule, but he has this passion for baseball, so he is always throwing around the ball. He also loves hanging out with his teammates because they share the same passion for the sport he loves.
“I see my teammates as my brothers,” Chris stated.
So what’s next for this student athlete?
“I do not really know my life plans yet, I just go where the wind takes me,” Chris said. He is unsure as to his whereabouts after he finishes college here, but he is sure that wherever he ends up, he will do just fine.
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