Jensen ready to sign with DWU: For WHS’s Nate Jensen, scoliosis brought on two major life decisionsWORTHINGTON — Worthington senior pitcher Nate Jensen throws a fastball, curveball and changeup on the mound for the Trojans.
WORTHINGTON — Worthington senior pitcher Nate Jensen throws a fastball, curveball and changeup on the mound for the Trojans.
When Jensen was a freshman, he received a curveball from life. He had scoliosis and had to pick between playing basketball and baseball with football being completely ruled out.
“Basically, my spine is crooked and I had two bones rubbing against each other on the lower part of my spine,” Jensen said. “They told me for sure they didn’t want me playing football because it’s too much of a contact sport.
“I knew I had played baseball for a long time and had a shot at going to college somewhere, so I wanted to take a chance. I knew I wanted to play baseball in college my whole life. I just love the game.”
Jensen hammered the curveball delivered from life’s mound, as he not only began a path which would lead him to college, but a calling for his future.
Friday Jensen will sign at Dakota Wesleyan University to play baseball and study physical therapy.
“I heard a lot of good stuff about their baseball program and they have a good physical therapy program too,” Jensen said. “I like helping others and a lot of people get injured in sports and a lot of people love sports.
“I just want to help people who have stuff like I did.”
Currently in his second year on varsity, Jensen was 4-1 last season with a 2.67 ERA, walking just seven batters in 27.1 innings pitched.
“Last year, he was one of our strongest pitchers,” WHS coach Stacy Sauerbrei said. “He’s just a competitor on the mound and that’s something you can’t coach. He’s done everything the coaching staff has asked him to do. He can pitch, play catcher and the outfield, which is a luxury for a coach to have.
“The neat thing about Nate is that he loves to play baseball. That’s something that is nice to be around as a coach. He comes to the ballpark every day with a smile on his face and he just wants to practice.”
Just like he’s handled adversity, it is in the worse conditions where Jensen shines brightest on the mound.
“He’s a bad weather pitcher,” Sauerbrei said. “He seems to thrive when it’s cold, wet and windy.
“The future is bright for him.”
Jensen was forced to do something as a freshman an athlete can usually hold off until their senior year; he was forced to pick one sport. Jensen’s decision now has him going to college to continue playing the game he loves, while learning to help athletes put in the same shoes he once wore.
“I’m excited,” Jensen said. “I always dreamt of playing baseball in college and they always say to shoot for your dreams.”
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.