A third-year student and a first-year player have joined forces as co-captains of the Riverhawks baseball team to motivate their teammates and hold them accountable.
Head coach Nick Hoffner said he chose third-year business administration student Brian Connolly and first-year business student Ethan Grieb because they showed the most leadership on the team.
“I think those guys set an example of the way we want things done here,” Hoffner noted. “We want guys who want to work hard and want to win.”
The role of the co-captain is to foster good relationships with the players and coaches and to show encouragement.
The baseball team is 8-32 so far this season.
Connolly, who plays multiple positions, said he holds himself to a higher standard as a co-captain.
“If you’re in a good position to win a game or seal a game, I want that on me,” Connolly, a first baseman, pitcher and left fielder, said. “And I want to succeed. And I want to be someone that the team can rely on and look to when times are tough because it’s always nice to have one of those guys.”
Grieb, an infielder and a pitcher, said, “It’s just a cool feeling to have, knowing that the coach trusts you enough to keep everything in check when [players are] not able to come to him when there’s a problem or anything like that.”
Grieb said he and Connolly have no disagreements between them.
“Brian [and I] get along really well, “ he said. “[He’s] one of my best friends on the team.”
First-year transfer studies student Andrew Wells, a second baseman, said he looks up to both of them.
“I’ve known Ethan a long time from high school,” Wells said. “Brian [has] been here for a while. He knows the system. They’re just good people to monitor the game after.”
First-year business student Brady MacDonald, a pitcher and an infielder, said Connolly and Grieb are good captains.
“They’re great guys, good baseball players [and] good students,” MacDonald said.
Connolly noted he gained confidence after Hoffner selected him as one of the co-captains in November.
“Last year, I wasn’t really communicating as much,” Connolly said. “And this year being the oldest guy here and on the team, I had to step up and had to be that guy who could be vocal and get into people’s faces, but also motivate guys to push forward and just continue on and the daily grind.”
Hoffner said, “Brian’s a guy who just works [so hard]. … He works hard day in and day out.”
Hoffner also noted, “Ethan is kind of the same way. He holds high expectations for himself. And he knows, ‘Ok, I want to get better. My goal is to get better here.”’
Connolly said instead of celebrating his promotion to co-captain, he celebrates every time the team wins a game.
Connolly and Grieb were both captains of their high school teams.