Mulvane Baseball Q&A with Head Coach Steve Nelson

Mulvane Baseball Q&A with Head Coach Steve Nelson

 

VYPE: Obviously you and your team is disappointed there is no season this year, especially after the way you finished 2019. What has been your message to the team during this time?

Nelson: Honestly it’s been difficult to stay in contact with all of them but when I found out the season was officially canceled I messaged them all. I simply said how disappointed I was to not get to have a chance to watch them compete this year and try to improve on what we accomplished at the end of last season. I also told them that this was another lesson in life. That this is something that is a bad deal but we have to take it in stride and learn from it. I try to tell them all the time that sports teaches them more about life than anything else.

 

VYPE: Who are some of the guys you were really looking forward to seeing play this year?

Nelson: Watching Hunter Dye try to repeat what he did on the mound for us last year. Gage Gerlach who hit almost .400 for us last year. Watching Hunter Seier who was so solid for us at shortstop as a freshman….I really think he can be special and wanted to see his growth. Then obviously all the seniors, especially my son Tanner play their final seasons.

VYPE: Seniors are affected more than any other group. What does this do to some of the kids who were trying to get that extra recognition from a college or Juco?

Nelson: It obviously makes it extremely difficult. Of our seven seniors we had out, three of them already have offers. Cole Diffenbaugh to Fort Hays for track, Matt Beyer to Butler for football and Trey Greer to Southwestern for football. I think Hunter Dye and Gage Gerlach had some chances for baseball offers but hopefully what they have done in the past will be enough if they really want to pursue it. I’m on board to help with that in any way they need.

 

VYPE: This also has an affect on your underclassmen. Guys who would normally get some important JV time will not have that opportunity and some may need to play varsity next year. What type of an adjust is that for you and your staff?

Nelson: It will be tough. We will lose seven seniors that would have all played a lot for us this season. So we will be inexperienced next year. And with the possibility of summer ball being canceled as well, that is a lot of missed playing time. But again, as we tell kids every year, names change but the expectations stay the same. No excuses, we will just have to get to work.

VYPE: Enough of the doom and gloom talk, lets get into some of the history of your playing and coaching career. Where did your baseball journey start as a player, what were some of your stops and when and with who did you start coaching?

Nelson: I have played in Mulvane my entire life. I played from 1990-1993 for MHS. I came back after college to teach and coach at my alma mater. I played for Dave Katzenmeier in high school who had the biggest influence on my philosophy as a coach. I began my career here as an assistant under Brian Minks (also a former Mulvane grad). I then became the varsity asst. under my brother-in-law Daniel Myears (our head football coach). When he took the football job we switched positions. He is my varsity asst. and David Dieker is our JV head coach. He has been with us for 10 years. He is a great asset as he brings experience from Chaparral Kansas and Cowley Comm. College. Robert Glaser is our fourth coach and he was also a fellow Mulvane grad who handles our pitching staff. He relates well to the pitchers as he pitched at MHS and went on to pitch in college. Plus Dave Fennewald, Scott Swaney, and Dale Landes had big influences in my coaching life as well.

 

VYPE: Away from baseball, what does coach Nelson like to do? Hobbies? Other activities?

Nelson: I love to hunt (pheasant & deer). I do a little fishing. Probably my biggest activity has become cattle work. I have a friend that owns quite a few cattle and I spend a great deal of time with him helping in any way I can. I try to spend as much time as possible with my boys. As of now, I have two in college and am learning how to be a Dad/coach in a different way. My youngest will be an eighth grader and I look forward to coaching him in the future.

 

VYPE: Coach, what would you like to say to your seniors?

Nelson: I would simply like to say I’m sorry for losing a season of baseball. I know it is something all seniors look forward to greatly but I know this group even more so because they had hoped to build on last years end of season run. They had been putting in a lot of time on their own in the pre season. I would also like to say thank you though for all the sacrifices they have made for me over the years. Almost all of them played for me in football and baseball for four years. They are great kids and have done what I have asked over they years. No questions, just work and compete. I truly appreciate all of their efforts for me over the years. I’m a very lucky person even in a bad time. Special side note to my son, it isn’t easy being a coach’s kid but I appreciate the way you handled this dynamic. I truly enjoyed all the extra time I got with you that most dads don’t get. To all of them: I also want you to know that I’ll always be here for you. Our season has ended, but I’ll always be your coach.