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Athlete's dream comes true

Submitted photo Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin's Blake Spinks connects with the baseball in a game during his high school career with the Wolverines. Spinks will play baseball next season at Northwestern College in Iowa.

MOUNTAIN LAKE -- Rain, snow, sleet and hail might not keep the post office from delivering your letters, but it doesn't mean those letters will always make it to their intended destination.

Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin's Blake Spinks knows just how that goes since his original letter-of-intent to play baseball at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa was never received.

"I had planned to sign my letter a long time ago," Spinks said. "But it somehow got lost in the mail. So I just recently signed a new letter and resent it."

Northwestern received Spinks' second letter and he will be joining the rest of his teammates on the baseball field this coming school year.

During high school, Spinks played baseball, football and also wrestled for the Wolverines, but playing baseball at the college level was something he had wanted to do from a young age.

"I have played baseball in the back yard with my dad since I was little," Spinks said. "It was always a dream of mine to play baseball in college. It is cool to have something I have dreamed of my whole life come true like this."

While playing baseball for ML/OB, Spinks lettered three times, was named Mr. Defense in 2011 and was also named a Red Rock All-Conference player his senior year. He was also an All-Conference wrestler and football player during his high school career.

Not only did Spinks play three different sports in high school, but he was also home schooled. By his junior year, he was already taking college courses online through Minnesota West.

During his senior year Spinks earned his AA Liberal Arts Degree while also making the Dean's List at Minnesota West.

"It was difficult at times to balance all my activities and school work," Spinks said. "Sometimes it didn't allow me to go out and do stuff with friends. But it was free and saved money. In the long run, it really helped me."

Before Spinks decided to go to Northwestern, he looked at a few other colleges, but none of them felt like as good a fit as Northwestern.

"I visited a lot of colleges," Spinks said, "but Northwestern was very welcoming and felt like home. I went to a practice down there and it ran so smooth, plus the coach was super nice. It is a great team."

One of the biggest adjustments Spinks feels he will face in college is the change from taking courses online without teachers to having teachers standing in front of rooms filled with students.

"It will be a challenge, but I think I will like the change," Spinks said. "When you take classes online there are no teachers, so you have to either learn it from the book or figure it out on your own. I think I will like the classroom setting better since I won't have to figure stuff out on my own anymore."

Even though Spinks is going to play baseball in college, one of his favorite memories of his high school career comes from his days on the wrestling team at ML/OB.

"My favorite memory has to be from the wrestling team this last year," Spinks said. "We went to state even though we were huge underdogs. We upset five different teams to make it to the state tournament."

Spinks will start classes this fall at Northwestern where he plans to major in Sports Management.

Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi

may be reached at 376-7335.