Looking through the Morning Sun or CM Life Newspaper, everyday you’ll see sports stories about collegiate Division I teams here at Central Michigan University. Those teams are organized, competitive and individually picked collegiate teams equipped with coaches, some making six figures to ensure the team to victory.
However what you don’t often hear about is the successful athletic teams that also compete against other colleges, just like varsity athletes do. These athletes are involved in what’s called Club Sports.
A team that is still playing and is extremely successful is the CMU Club Baseball team. The team has won the GLC North Championship in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 and is currently still playing to take the title again. In addition after the GLC North Championship they’ve gone on nationally to win the World Series in their division in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010.
The team starts their season out when school resumes in the fall and then takes a break until spring break where the travel to Florida to get loosened up with Spring Training. While down south the team plays 5-7 games before returning to Michigan and starting their regional season here.
Starting player, Kevin Zaborowski said “We have a lot of fun on the team. We throw a lot of parties to raise money for our trips and games and even though it’s fun the level of commitment and competition is still high.”
Though the baseball team didn’t get to play many of the early season games due to high amounts of rain and snow, they’re still managing to make it into Regional playoffs with a record of 9-7. This year the team is 2-0 against U of M and 1-2 against MSU. In addition they’re currently 1st in the division.The teams next game is Friday, May 6 vs the University of Michigan.
“We have had really good pitching and our hitting has been up at the times we’ve needed hits. The team has had a fast start winning all of our series up until last weekend when we lost two to MSU,” said infielder Joey Ventimiglia.
CMU’s Club baseball team is in one of the most competitive divisions in all of club baseball. Their is six teams in the Great Lakes North Division, when others only have two or three.
Ventimiglia said, “the pitching between our regions teams are probably the best in the division too, therefore the winning team is usually the one who is on their A game. Even though some of us could play D1 and players do come down from the Actual team sometimes so there is definitely D1 talent floating around our team and others we play.”
Central Michigan’s Club Softball team is another one of many club sports CMU offers. Within it are a group of college young women who put together everything from fundraising to travel arrangements to out of state tournaments all by themselves.
The training, practices and scrimmages start within the first two weeks of school year including call-outs for new players. The season runs throughout the fall giving the team a break from Thanksgiving to January, when school resumes. From then on the team prepares for their real season in the spring where they face off against big named schools.
Kaitlin Starr, President of the Club Softball team said this year they’ve decided to hire a coach in aiding them to their goal of making it to the National Club Softball Association’s World Series (NCSA).
Star said “even though it’s not D1 athletics it’s still extremely competitive. We play teams like the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Bowling Green, Grand Valley….. However, even though it’s competitive we still get the leisure of having a life outside of softball.”
Despite the Club Softball team’s success in former years their season sadly came to an end this weekend after tying to the University of Indiana South Bend. The team did not making it into the playoffs due to a record of 6-12 and ERA of .33.
Despite little recognition and support from the school, both teams strive to not only get the best players available but players that will be committed to the team just like it was a Varsity sport. Each of them are student run and organized through the recreation center on campus. Central Michigan University has over 20 Clubs Sports to get involved in. Sports range from fencing to karate, to volleyball or even swimming.
Even though they might not be recognized each club team is successful in their own way.
For more pictures of the CMU Baseball or softball team visit my Slideshow