BASEBALL: Field of friendship
SLAYTON -- Murray County Central's Trent Carlson and Nate Wieneke always dreamed of playing baseball together at the collegiate level when they graduated from high school.
That dream became a reality after both players signed their letters-of-intent to play baseball at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.
"It excites me a lot to get to play with him again," Wieneke said. "We had talked about playing college ball together before. It was something I kind of hoped would happen. I tried everything I could to convince [Trent] to play at DSU."
In the end it didn't take much convincing to get Carlson to warm to the idea of playing at DSU. After a visit to campus, Carlson was just as excited about DSU as Wieneke had hoped he would be.
The pair got their letters-of-intent from DSU on the same day, so Carlson came up with the idea that the two of them should sign their letters together to make it something special for the two of them.
"It was Trent's idea to sign together," Wieneke said. "We waited until high school baseball was finally done and then we signed our letters at the same time."
The two became friends well before their baseball careers got started. According to Carlson, the two have been friends since at least fourth grade and their shared love for baseball only strengthened that friendship.
"We were good friends before baseball; baseball has just helped make us better friends," Carlson said. "We played together in AA, AAA, Little League, VFW and Legion baseball. We played together pretty much all through the years."
Rebels baseball coach Terry Boelter couldn't say enough about how much he enjoyed having both players on his team and how much the team will miss them next season.
"It is going to be tough to replace them," Boelter said. "Both of them were really leaders. They were coachable and I really appreciated that. They were both so committed to their positions. We had a really close group of seniors this last year which made it really fun to coach them."
Carlson and Wieneke played catcher and shortstop respectively last season for the Rebels of MCC and made the All-Conference team the last two years.
Wieneke, a four-year letter-winner for MCC, was a tremendous infielder with soft hands who could make all the plays expected of him, Boelter said.
"Nate was a spark plug and just a complete ball player," Boelter said. "He turned the double-play well and was a really solid shortstop for us. He runs well and is aggressive on the bases, plus he hits for a lot of power for his size."
Carlson, a three-year starter, was a solid catcher for MCC who blocked balls well and could also hit the ball well, Boelter said.