Where are they now?
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Ben Reznicek, born and raised in Sioux Falls, S.D., had to make tough decisions throughout his early baseball career. Facing ups and downs he managed to get where he is today.
Reznicek went to O’Gorman High School, in southwest Sioux Falls. An athletics staff member at Reznicek’s high school believes he is “A good kid who developed later in his junior and senior year.”
His focus was on baseball during high school.
Reznicek played two years of ball at Indian Hill Community College- Centerville. Putting on a show his second year , Reznicek was showing his potential to play for UND. Playing for a division one team his goal.
Reznicek batted a .309 average combined with .306 OBP (On Base Percentage) in fifty-one games played, overall a record of 31-28.
In the following year, Reznicek joined the UND baseball squad for what would be the final year of the program. In a disappointing season (8-37), Reznicek played well in a total of forty games.
In the last season of the program, Reznicek batted a .272 average that included eighteen RBIs and two home runs. He was the second in bases stolen (15) and only getting caught three times.
On Apr. 12, 2016 UND made the decision to cut the baseball team due to budget problems. Brian Faison, Athletic director, said the team was “extremely disappointed” and “furious.”
“It didn’t really hit me right away until I saw some of the returns breakdown,” Reznicek said. “This is actually happening I’m going to have to find a new home or hang it up.”
Many students like Reznicek faced a decision on what they would do with the remaining years of college. With being eligible for next season because of the program cut, he received many offers from other schools.
Within a few days, Reznicek and fellow teammates were receiving offers to play elsewhere.
“It is unfortunate. A lot of programs on campus are going to deal with some issues. We’re part of the university,” Faison said.
“When we found out we came together as a team,” Reznicek said. “I can’t imagine and wouldn’t wish it upon anyone,” regarding other teams getting cut.
Many student athletes will have to factor in many aspects before they can come to a decision on whether to continue to play competitively or become a full time student at UND.
Reznicek considered staying at UND as a student, but not more than a few days. “Baseball is the game I love and UND gave me that opportunity, ” Reznicek said.
Location and graduating on time were all things to consider while making the decision. “ I can’t compare the community here (Omaha) to the community in Grand Forks there’s something about the city,” Reznicek said.
Deciding not to continue being a student at UND, Reznicek accepted an offer to play at Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska. Not giving up the dream and continuing to put full effort into his baseball career he headed to Nebraska.
Getting settled into a new school as well as a baseball team could be tough. The Creighton team has a lot of new faces including Reznicek after losing many players after last season. “ We have a lot of new positional players, but we are excited about the possibilities with this new group,” head coach, Ed Servais said.
“Ben has a knack for getting on base- hit by pitch, walks, he’s got a very good eye,” Servais said. “He kind of knows who he is.”
Creighton has been an exceptionally good program that recently moved to the Big East Conference. Since being in the Big East, their winning percentage in the last three seasons has been above .700 (13-5,13-4,14-4).
This season thus far, Reznicek has played 5 games batting a .250 average with an OBP of .500.
As far as the future goes for Reznicek, he plans on returning to the business he and his dad started several years ago, Rez Bats. Making wooden and training bats.
“I definitely want to own my own business one day,” Reznicek said. While going to school for marketing, he has been networking and establishing rapport with colleagues.
Reznicek stays humble and knows he has been given great opportunities in life. “I was blessed with the opportunity at Creighton University,” Reznicek said. “But I could not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Coach Dodson (UND head coach) and the University of North Dakota.”
Adam Demoulas is a staff writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org