Author Archives: aklein48

Student Athletes Who will Never Know

COVID-19 sent all Piedmont student athletes home until this fall, but for some athletes there will be no return.

Each NCAA spring sport athlete was given an extra year of eligibility so seniors could return, but for two Piedmont baseball players, returning was not an option.

Will Janofsky and Nate Rotenberger played on the 2019 Lion’s baseball club. Both were seniors and had played on the team the past three seasons.  

Janofsky had a huge impact during his time at Piedmont as a late-inning reliever for the Lions. Through 16 appearances, Janofsky compiled a 2-2 record, picking up two saves, posting a 1.33 ERA and striking out  21. Janofsky was named twice to the USA South All-Academic Team (2017, 2018).

“The biggest reason for not returning is that I was ready to start developing my professional career and take that next step in my life,” Janofsky said. 

The decision was easy for Rotenberger, too. “I graduated at the end of the spring and got accepted into PT school,” he said. “It wasn’t much of a decision. Returning was out of the picture, my time at Piedmont was over.” 

Rotenberger came on strong his senior year, becoming a regular member of the Lions rotation. For his career, the pitcher posted a 3.45 ERA through four starts, striking out 12. He was a three-time USA South All-Academic player (2017, 2018, 2019).   

Although the decisions were easy to make, both said they will really miss their time on the field.  

“I’ll miss cutting up with all my teammates, cracking too many jokes, and the grind of preparing for competition,” Rotenberger said. “I always loved getting better with all my teammates and just having fun.” 

Janofsky said he will also miss his teammates, as well as the Piedmont campus. “I’ll miss Mrs. Melba in the caf, along with the comradery with the guys and the competitive atmosphere that was always involved with the team,” he said. 

Both athletes likely saw their last competitive action on the field as players, a feeling that isn’t lost on Rotenberger. “I’ll miss the competition aspect of the game,” he said.. “The thrill of standing on the mound with the ball in your hand is such a powerful feeling and I’ll forever wish I could throw one more pitch.” 

Are Baseball’s Unwritten Rules Morphing?

Expressing emotion in baseball creates joy, hate, and excitement. No matter if you are on the side of a huge win or a part of a lopsided loss, every baseball player has experienced both emotions. So it is easy to relate even to a MLB superstar. Fernando Tatis Jr stunned the world of Major League Baseball by hitting a grand slam against the Texas Rangers, but why were some people more angry than happy by this? On August 17th, The San Diego Padres matched up against the Texas Rangers and it was all Padres the whole game. The Padres running away with the game, up 10-3 late in the eighth inning, added to the bleeding. Fernando Tatis Jr, who is an early MVP candidate during this shortened 60 game season, came up to bat with the bases loaded and whacked a grand slam. This upset some of the “older generation” baseball minds in the game, but why? Because the count was 3-0 and the Padres were already up big late in the game. An old baseball head would say this incident are the things wrong with baseball now-a-days. They see it as lack of respect and sportsmanship.

According to CBS Sports, Rangers Manger, Chris Woodward said”I didn’t like it, personally. You’re up by seven in the eight inning: it’s typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right. I don’t think we liked it as a group.”

Personally playing this game for 15 years, and all the experiences I have ever had, whether it being losing a game by 20 runs or winning by 20, you always must play the game with full effort. Now does that mean sportsmanship does not matter? Obviously not, sportsmanship in baseball is also about respecting the game, but playing the game half-hearted takes respect away from the game. We are talking about grown men getting paid millions of dollars to produce also, this is not tee-ball. Even in high school baseball there are pre-set mercy rules to show sportsmanship, so if the MLB wants to fix the problem to keep these soft, unwritten rules, then create a mercy rule. Because to ask an electrifying, 21 year old to not play at full speed every pitch should be an unwritten rule. 

Tatis unnecessarily apologized , in my opinion, to the media and the Texas Rangers after the game.

“I’ve been in this game since I was a kid, and I know a lot of unwritten rules,” Tatis said after the game. “And this time, I was kind of lost on this one. From those experiences, you have to learn. Probably next time, I’ll take a pitch. I love this game and I respect this game a lot. Every time I go out there, I just want to feel respect for everybody else. This game is hard for everyone, so why not just celebrate and have fun the way you wanna have fun?”

Tatis took the high road and apologized, which from a public perspective was the smartest stance to take. Especially when his own manager did not completely have his back to the media.

“Just so you know, a lot of our guys have green light 3-0,” Tingler, the Rangers third base coach added. “But in this game in particular, we had a little bit of a comfortable lead. We’re not trying to run up the score or anything like that.”

Claiming that Tatis was given the take sign from the third base coach, might be true, but not having his superstars back would not make me want to play for the man if I was Tatis. If Major League Baseball frowns upon this behavior, I believe ratings will go down and it will only support this mouth fed mentality we have in sports culture today. Not everyone gets playing time, not everyone gets to make the team, sports are for teaching life lessons, whether you are 5 years old or 55. All sports find ways to humble everyone, and if we always follow the unwritten rules, it will only be us who will suffer. 

Nicholas Klein, but call me Andrew

Just as the title indicates my name is Nicholas Klein. All I have ever been addressed or called by is Andrew since birth. My friends and family call me “Andy”. I was born in Gwinnett County and grew up just down the road in Barrow county. I have lived there my whole life, so Piedmont is a very new experience and scenery for me. I have already grown to love so many things on campus already including baseball, new friends, and the list could go on and on.

One of the most important things to me as to most people is my family. I have a little bit of a bigger family than most people, but I think of it as a blessing because who doesn’t love two Christmases. In all seriousness, I love everyone in my family, no matter how big of a family it is or how annoying we all get with each other. I have a biological brother named PJ, who I have done everything with and looked up to my whole life. He is four years older than me and has shown me the right way to do things in life through hard work, his faith, and how caring he is. I have three step-siblings Amanda, Blake, and Drew and we are all just as close as real siblings. My step-parents have had a huge impact on my life and they have both been in my life for as long as I can remember. Their families have taken me and my brother in as their own and have treated us no different than their actual family. I would never trade the relationships and all the family members I have for the world. Even though nothing will be more important to me than my family and faith, sports have had the next biggest impact on my life.

Ever since I was four years old baseball has been my passion and my love, but just like in the game of baseball when everything seems to be great the game finds a way to humble you. You can be the best baseball player in the world and you will never be bigger than the game. I have played a lot of sports in my life, but baseball was that one when it came down to focusing and putting in the hard work to excel, it is the one that meant the most to me. I played football and basketball growing up as well, and as a child, I enjoyed those much more than baseball, but since my older brother always loved the game it rubbed off on me too, trying to be just like him. I quit football in middle school but played my senior year and I still regret not playing all four years of high school. Basketball was a different story, playing up to the middle of my junior year, but quitting because of the disconnection the coach and I had. Sports, in general, are how I’ve learned to deal and learn lessons through my life and I will always be so grateful for the opportunity and health that I’ve always had to play what I have loved all these years. I was a knight all my life, (my high school’s mascot) but there is no place I would rather be than Piedmont as a Lion! That is who Andrew Klein is.

Online Language Symposium

With the vast growth of social media in the last decade, children around the world are most often communicating through different technologies. What does that mean for the English language? 

“Children have started using the internet younger and younger, and it is not uncommon to see a tablet-using toddler in a shopping cart seat or elementary school kids with smartphones, when just ten years ago teenagers were denied flip-phones by strict parents,” said psychology major, Cole Cline. 

Cline presented his paper, “21st Century Verbal Man: A Defense of Children’s Internet Language” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium. Cline says society has become obsessed with social media and screen time, in general. Through multiple academic sources, Cline was exploring whether this newfound “internet language” was having a detrimental effect in learning the English language. 

”I found the topic through a video by Tom Scott, who is a frequent collaborator with McCulloch,” Cline said. “Before, I had a passing interest in linguistics, but seeing that I could be able to link psychology with it really sent me down one of the few good paths of no return.” 

After viewing the video, Cole said he had the feeling of “wanting to know more” — the internet researcher in him came out. It led to him wanting to find the missing link. “The social and linguistic behaviors all made sense, they fit together like a puzzle more than I was expecting. Honestly, it was lucky that it got to be a defense rather than an attack.” 

The results of his research surprised him – there is no noticeable negative impact on learning. “I was expecting it to contradict developmental patterns, but it just … didn’t. In the words of developer Todd Howard, ‘It just works.’ There’s the researcher in me who wanted there to be a missing link, the final thing I could find and put together that everyone else would have missed! But it seemed just too logical, too much of what we should have expected,” Cole said. 

Sheere Irvin, a teacher at Level Grove Elementary has seen the changes firsthand. “I have truly seen the change through this technology advancement in the last decade,” she said. “I have been around public school systems and it seems every year in recent memory that kids come in with new tablets and things like.” 

Sheere has seen the changes with her own children, 18 and 10 years old. “Raising Peyton (18) was a lot different than Oakley (10). She has spent a lot more of her time on her i-pad or TikTok, where Peyton was always outside and playing sports. I do believe Oakley has benefitted in her learning more than Peyton was at her age, and she has a lot more knowledge about technology in general.”

Hayden Craig: More Than a Game

Sports shaped Hayden Craig from a very young age and taught him to be a better man before being a better baseball player.  

“Being a good person comes before being a good player,” said Craig, the assistant baseball coach at Piedmont College. “We have all had teammates who were talented but not the best people. Even if the pitch before or after was awful, you always have to be ready for the next one, that’s how baseball and life parallel to each other.”

Hayden Craig was born on Sep. 7, 1992 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Baseball has been the focal point of his life and is the reason he lives in Demorest, Georgia. Craig played collegiate baseball for four years at Adrian College, in Missouri. While teaching, he started coaching at a high school in the same county in which he grew up. He did what was necessary for his career and a week after Craig accepted the head coaching job, he terminated his contract and took the position of assistant baseball coach at Piedmont College. 

“This was my foot into the door,” Craig said. However, Craig’s coaching philosophy is a reflection of his personal experiences and beliefs throughout his life as a student of the game of baseball. “If one day is crappy that has no bearing on what today will bring. Growth in the weight room, skill, and maturity are things every player should see strides in” he said.

Being in the position of coaching collegiate baseball is just a step into the right direction for the young coach. Craig strives to be a better coach every day and relies on the 10,000 hour rule, which is something that he has been studying. The 10,000 hour rule implies that if you want to become great at something, then 10,000 or more hours must be spent on that craft. He is ready for all the challenges of college coaching whether it is recruiting, gaining player’s trust or making them a better person.”I got my first taste of recruiting at Piedmont, it was awesome to really zone in on players and look for individual skill and if they are playing the game the right way” he said. 

Craig looks forward to launching his collegiate coaching career and helping the Lions be successful. “I love it, it’s a dream. It is all baseball and if you’re passionate about your work it isn’t work,” Craig said.