WORTHINGTON -- Two summers ago, 14-year-old Triston Sauerbrei survived a terrible scare. On the morning of Aug. 20, 2019, near the end of football practice, he went into cardiac arrest. Fortunately, immediate action was taken by Worthington High School coach Geno Lais and others, and Sauerbrei was saved.
It was originally thought to be a case of overheating. But it was later determined that Triston’s heart was failing.
Today, Triston -- said to be the most passionate member of a sports-loving family -- is happily pursuing the things he loves. He’s practicing with the football team again, which includes some serious weightlifting. He umpires youth baseball games. And he plays on two Worthington baseball teams -- the Junior Legion and amateur squads. Oh, and he also has a part-time job.
Young Sauerbrei doesn’t remember much, if anything, about that day when he stopped running and fell down on the football field, but he remembers the aftermath.
“I know that it’s changed me quite a bit, and I’ve worked harder in everything I do now, because you never know when it could be your last game. Nothing’s guaranteed in life,” he said.
That’s pretty wise for a teen-ager. But then, Sauerbrei learned it first-hand.
“The doctors told me it could happen again,” he said. “It’s more likely to happen to me since it’s already happened before. And I need to be careful with running. I can do everything, but if I get too tired or if I just start feeling weird, I just need to stop and slow down a little bit and make sure to not get into as many contact things. Because if I get hit there (pointing to his chest) it could be fatal.”
This week’s Globe Drill subject, Sauerbrei is better known these days for his performances on the baseball field. He’s a key member of the local Junior Legion team, and after each effort with the Cubs amateur team, he is becoming more trustworthy.
His defense has been solid at second base and shortstop. He is putting in some good pitching performances, too. His fastball is showing more snap, and he’s quickly learning how best to work hitters.
His father, Stacy, is a former WHS baseball coach, and siblings Easton and Payton starred at more than one sport during their high school days.
You can see a video of Triston at The Globe website at www.dglobe.com. Here is a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: How much baseball instruction did you get from your dad and your brother?
ANSWER: “My dad has taught me a lot with hitting. Also, my brother Easton has helped me with that, because they were both really good batters when they played in high school and college. … (They) always told me to keep going no matter what the score is and never give up. Play like someone’s watching you.”
QUESTION: Tell us a good sports story, one that you’re likely to remember a long time.
ANSWER: “My first at bat for the Cubs -- I really hadn’t taken any at bats the whole season because I was on varsity (high school) and I got DH’d for a lot -- and my first at bat I hit one over the shortstop’s head, and I hadn’t done that in a long time. And that felt pretty good that I went 1-for-1 and, like my brother went 0-for-3. He told me after the game that I stole his glory.”
QUESTION: What’s the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know?
ANSWER: “When I was a kid, I played more baseball with my mom than I did with my dad. He was coaching, so my mom was always the one that I would go play catch with, or go hit with.”