OSKALOOSA — This week’s featured baseball player is Oskaloosa junior Colton Jon Butler. Butler is the son of Bryan and Kathy Butler.
Butler is number 9 on the baseball team and his primary position is first base. When Butler is not on first base getting opposing players out, you’ll find him throwing some fastballs on the pitcher's mound.
Butler was born in Des Moines on March 10, 2002, and has lived in Oskaloosa his whole life.
Butler started his baseball at a young age starting with T-ball. Butler then moved up to the traveling team, the Oskaloosa Storm.
Butler has experienced some amazing accomplishments before playing on the varsity team.
“My favorite baseball memory before joining the high school team was winning the USSSA state title when I was 13,” Butler said. “I remember being very happy and excited because we worked really hard for that title.”
While that was an astounding feat for Butler and his teammates, he remembers a more recent game that sticks out to him.
“I remember pitching bases loaded when I came in last year against Ballard and got a ground ball double play to get out of the inning,” Butler said. “That game sent us to the next round to get to substate.”
As the season is coming to a close, Butler is still holding on tightly to the goals he set at the beginning of the season. He’s maintaining his goal of fielding every ball that he can and have a batting average over .320.
Butler has made a lot of new friends since joining the varsity baseball team, and when asked whom he’d want by his side during a zombie apocalypse, he chose a current teammate.
“I’d want Nik Dykstra by my side,” Butler said. “I feel like he would think of some equation or smart way to get out of a sticky situation.”
If Butler couldn’t have the brains of Dykstra by his side, he said he’d go with current teammate Wyatt Krier.
“Wyatt would be another good person to have in an apocalypse,” Butler said. “He knows the outdoors and how to hunt.”
Butler mentioned how he had a lot of friends who graduated last year, and when asked whom he would want to join him for one more season, he chose last year’s shortstop Alex DeJong.
“I’d choose Alex because he’s a very nice guy,” Butler said. “He was also a very good player at the shortstop position and was always making plays.”
Well, folks, it’s that part of the article where I ask who the funniest person on this year’s team is, and by no surprise, Will Schultz takes winner again.
“Will is easily the funniest guy on the team,” Butler said. “He’s always saying something random at random times. His jokes always get to us.”
As for Butler’s pregame rituals, he said he’s not really a big music listener before games, but if he had to choose he’d listen to country. He said country music helps him relax and get ready for big games. As for a pregame snack, Butler likes to eat some Cheez-its. He was quick to acknowledge that while his mom does make him a sandwich or two, he packs his own Cheez-Its.
While Butler loves playing in front of a large Oskaloosa crowd at home, he mentioned he looks forward to playing at Indianola every year.
“Indianola is always a fun place to play,” Butler said. “They also have a very beautiful field which makes it that much better.”
Butler was on the 2018 state champion basketball team and on the Oskaloosa football team. Butler said he loves the thrill that the sport of football brings.
“Football is such a great sport because it’s so team-oriented,” Butler said. “There really is no better feeling than playing under the Friday night lights.”
Some of Butler’s hobbies include groups around the community. Butler enjoys student council and youth group.
As Butler enters his final year of high school, he said his favorite memory came from early morning football liftings.
“I remember one morning when we were conditioning, we had to push a tire up the hill,” Butler said. “The group pushing the tire lost control and it rolled all the way down into a creek and we had to fish it out.”
When in school, Butler said he enjoys his math classes.
“Math is something I’m good at and understand,” Butler said. “It’s not like English classes where I don’t follow along as well.”
If Butler is not in math class, he said he looks forward to going to his science class to see his favorite teacher.
“Mrs. Knudtson is my favorite teacher because she helps you when you’re struggling,” Butler said. “She’ll also sit down and talk to you about things not school related. You feel relaxed when you’re in her room.”
To end the interview, Butler shared that he looks up to St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina.
“Molina always prepares himself in the right ways and plays hard every game,” Butler said. “He’s been playing the game of baseball the right way for many years.”