(Greenfield) -- Nodaway Valley senior Tyler Vandewater searched far and wide in hopes of finding a perfect landing spot to continue his baseball career. In the end, he found it in Mesa, Arizona.
The standout Wolverines catcher made his college decision official earlier this week, signing with Benedictine University in Mesa.
“I knew I really wanted to play college baseball, so I got in touch with as many coaches as possible,” Vandewater said.
Vandewater says he started sending out emails to coaches when he was a freshman and found a response from current Benedictine head coach Brian McCabe, who is originally from Iowa.
“He said we should keep in touch throughout my four years, so we just kind of did,” Vandewater said. “In my junior year, I sent in some videos, and I went down. He really liked me, I really liked him and that’s how things kind of started.”
Vandewater says he also considered Division III’s University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, including other schools closer to home like Grand View and Simpson.
“I love Greenfield and Southwest Iowa, but at the same time I’m ready to kind of push my limits,” he said. “I’m ready to make new connections and meet new people.”
While Coach McCabe is from Iowa, so is one of the standout pitchers on the roster. Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton alum Tyler Jacobsen – a two-time KMAland Pitcher of the Year – is in his senior year at the school.
“Before I went down there I looked at the roster and (saw him on the roster),” Vandewater said. “I got in contact with him, and we played a little bit together this summer. I think sometime in the winter I’m going down to hang out with him for a weekend.”
Vandewater says he plans to major in communications with a minor in criminal justice. Listen to the complete interview embedded below.