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Junior strives to draw team closer

Though it can often be hard to fit in or make new friends when moving to new country, for Korean exchange student David Ryu, ’14, this is not the case at all.

Ryu has used baseball as a way to make new friends and inspire his teammates to work together. His plan is to help the team grow as a whole by encouraging them to play for each other, rather than themselves.

Last year, Ryu played baseball for Central High School, located near Dallas, Texas. This being only his second year ever playing baseball, he looks forward to fulfilling some of his personal goals for the season.

“This year, I want to be a better baseball player,” Ryu said. “I would like to play catcher if I can but I will go wherever the coach needs me. I really want to work on my hitting this year because I want to be able to come through for my team on the plate, when they need me.”

David never took a serious interest in baseball until he came to America. He explained how he became interested in professional baseball and wanted to play for his school.

“I was watching a baseball game at home one day and became very interested in the sport,” Ryu said. “I went to school and started asking my friends about baseball and figuring out how the sport really worked. Then I went out for the team and I loved it.”

According to Ryu, he has a very deep passion for the sport of baseball and knows that it will always be his favorite sport.

“I don’t just love baseball, I live baseball,” Ryu said. “I love to go out whenever I can and throw a baseball or hit a baseball. I will never let another sport take baseball’s place in my heart.”

For most athletes, there is usually one aspect of the sport they play that they might find inconvenient. Whether it be the physicality involved for a football player, or the running it takes to be a basketball player. However, for Ryu, there is literally nothing about baseball he dislikes.

“I like everything about baseball,” Ryu said. “I don’t care about all the time it takes up or any of that. I know in my heart that you have to spend a lot of time playing baseball if you want to be the best you can be.”

While Ryu may have a few personal goals that he hopes to accomplish, he has even more goals for his team that he is working to attain.

“I want to encourage my team to work together,” Ryu said. “It is not fun for me to see teammates get mad at each other at practice. I want to get rid of this problem and turn the mean things said into positive things. We cannot be a good team if we do not play as a team. Everyone has to play for the man by his side.”

Ryu has learned a lot from his coaches but his coaches have also learned a lot from him. Head baseball coach, Noah Heinz stated that Ryu is a player he will never forget.

“David is one heck of a kid,” Heinz said. “He always wants to learn something new and get better at anything he can. Whenever there is an opportunity to help his team, David is always right there to help. He definitely is an inspiring aspect to the team.”

Ryu loves to watch baseball as well as play it. He named off his favorite baseball players and teams from the Major League Baseball (MLB).

“I love to watch professional baseball,” Ryu said. “My favorite player of all time is Yogi Berra. I think my favorite baseball team is the Dodgers.”

Ryu has definitely made a good impression on his teammates so far, including friend and teammate, Aaron DeWolf, ’15.

“David is a good ballplayer,” DeWolf said. “But what really sets him apart from everyone else is his enthusiasm for the game. I have never seen anyone with as much energy when it comes to cheering on the team. His determination and work ethic also sets him apart from his other teammates.”

For more sports, read the April 2 article, Freshman plays two sports, succeeds despite injury.

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