Varsity Baseball · White Hawks Baseball Senior Salute – Ian Kirk

Ian Bids Farewell

It is hard to think that just like that my baseball career at Mound Westonka High School is over.  Not getting to play my senior year was something I never thought would happen.  I was so pumped to see my off season work pay off.  I was coming off some positive energy from the fall ball season and was ready to bring that energy to our 2020 Spring team.  Even if we didn’t get the chance to play this season, being a White Hawk  is something I will always be proud of for so many reasons.

 I want to start by thanking my family, they have been extremely supportive through every decision I have made during my baseball career.  From team changes to position changes they helped me become the best I could.  Dad, I definitely wouldn’t be the player or person I am today without you.  You have spent countless hours with me on the field working to perfect my skills, even if my throws hurt your hand.  You paid very close attention to everything and would give me advice on things I should try to do differently.  Mom, you are without a doubt my number one fan.  Along with that you were and still are the loudest person in the stands, but not only for me but the whole team.  You are the heart and soul of the fan section and everyone knows it. 

To all of my teammates, some of us grew up together and some of us have only known each other a few years.  To my high school teammates, we have made a lot of amazing memories together and I am forever grateful for all of them.  We have traveled around the state playing in so many games.  When we were a little younger we played in a lot of tournaments and had a great time.  To my club teammates, we have traveled the country together and experienced a lot.  You guys are an incredible group to play with.  High school and club teammates you will always be like family to me. 

Throughout my high school career I have had so many coaches and I learned so much from all of them.  Patrick, we have worked together for a few years and I wish our time on the field wasn’t cut short.  You have always wanted to see me succeed on the mound.  You taught me a lot about pitching and I have taken these lessons into every game I have played.  Brian Ibs, one of the best years of baseball for me was on the C squad team and it definitely wouldn’t have been the team it was without you.  I was really looking forward to another season playing for you.  Jimmy Halverson, the MWHS baseball program wouldn’t be the same without you.  I always enjoyed sitting in the dugout and listening to the stories you have about your baseball career.  You also gave me so many good tips to improve my pitching that I will never forget.  Brandon Peterson, since the day I started working with you, you told us to trust the process and I did.  The knowledge about throwing mechanics from using my legs, hips, and even the position of my arm is something that without a doubt made me a better pitcher.  I also can’t forget to mention all the free “investing” knowledge that you gave us during velo.  CJ Woodrow, since joining the Millers the things you taught me about pitching form and even the best spots to throw the ball over the plate have stuck with me and without that I wouldn’t be the pitcher I am today.

Something I learned while being an athlete at MWHS is talent will only get you so far. In the end, it’s not about how talented you are but how much work you’re willing to put in.  That’s how you will get where you want to be.

Looking back at my baseball career at MWHS there are so many moments that stand out to me but there are two that I will never forget.  The first one happened in 8th grade while we were playing the Rockford Rockets.  During my at bat, the bases were loaded and  was down 2-2 with 2 outs.  The next pitch was a beauty right down the middle of the strike zone and I swung and jacked the ball dead center for a grand slam!  A couple of my teammates went out and got the ball for me and I still have it.  The second memory was my first varsity start on the mound against Watertown.  I got on the mound and went through my normal motions and ended up throwing a shutout!

Throughout my baseball career at Mound Westonka and Minnesota Millers I have been given a lot of great advice.  It is hard to see my high school career end in such an abrupt way.  Taking the time to look back at my career, relive memories, and think about all my accomplishments was something I enjoyed.  My last high school game was under the lights in Las Vegas and I never imagined that would be it.  So, underclassman, what I say to you is take in everything and enjoy every moment because you never know when it’s going to end.