OSKALOOSA - This week’s featured baseball player is Oskaloosa freshman, William Joseph Schultz. Schultz is the son of Brandon and Ashley Schultz.
Schultz is number three on this year’s Oskaloosa baseball team and his primary position is shortstop.
Schultz was born in New Sharon on October 10, 2003, and lived in New Sharon until he moved to Oskaloosa in third grade.
Schultz began playing baseball in kindergarten. When he was old enough, he joined the Oskaloosa Heat.
Schultz made a lot of memories during his time with the Oskaloosa Heat and even won a state championship when he was 12 years old.
“I was shocked,” Schultz said. “It was the first time I’ve ever won something as huge as that and it was an overall exciting experience.”
While it’s hard to top winning a state championship with the Oskaloosa Heat, Schultz remembers an outstanding memory he had this year.
“My favorite memory I’ve had from varsity baseball is the home run I hit against Norwalk this year, Schultz said. “It was an amazing hit and I couldn’t believe it went over.”
Entering the final weeks of the season, Schultz is trying to finish the season strong by keeping to the goals he set for himself at the beginning. These goals include maintaining a batting average above .250 and having the least amount of errors on the team.
Schultz said being a freshman at the varsity level wasn’t as frightening as one might think it would be.
“I wasn’t nervous at all,” Schultz said. “It helped that I was on the team last year and had a good run. I feel like I’m very welcomed and the guys made this a welcoming environment.”
Since joining the team last year, Schultz has made a lot of friends through the sport of baseball. When asked whom he’d like by his side during a zombie apocalypse, he chose a current teammate.
“I’d choose Rian Yates,” Schultz said. “Rian is very smart when it comes to real-life situations. I feel like he’d be able to get me out of a very sticky situation.”
Schultz also had the experience of meeting some seniors before they graduated in 2018. When asked whom he’d like to bring back for another season, he chose former Oskaloosa catcher, Keaton Dekock.
“I’d choose Keaton because he was a very fun guy to be around,” Schultz said. “He always brought positive energy to the team.”
Schultz has been voted the funniest kid on this year’s squad by almost every player. When asked how he felt receiving this honor, he kept it short and simple.
“It feels good… for the most part,” Schultz said. “I didn’t think they would say me because there are a lot of funny people, but yeah I’m pretty funny I guess.”
Now it’s time for the moment of truth, who does the funniest kid on the team think is the funniest?
“I think the funniest person on this year’s team is Wyatt Krier,” Schultz said. “I don’t think he necessarily tries to be funny, but he naturally is. It just makes him funny.”
As for Schultz’s pregame rituals, he said he likes to listen to a calmer version of rap. This kind of music helps him relax before he heads onto the field. As for a pregame snack, Schultz can’t go without eating some Chips Ahoy! Chewy Cookies. He makes sure he packs a few before every game.
While Schultz always looks forward to playing under the lights in Oskaloosa, Schultz also looks to take his talents to the fields of Dallas Center-Grimes.
“Dallas Center-Grimes truly has a beautiful field,” Schultz said. “I always have a good vibe going into those games.”
Schultz was on the 2019 state champion basketball team and played on the Oskaloosa football team. Schultz said the sport he really looks forward to playing is basketball.
“Basketball has always been one of my favorites because I feel like I thrive the most on the basketball court,” Schultz said. “It comes naturally to me.”
Schultz dove a little deeper and expressed the feelings of winning a state championship this year.
“It was really fun,” Schultz said. “I’m glad I was given an opportunity to be a part of something special with those group of guys. I believe we still have a lot of talent and can make another run in the future.”
Some of Schultz’s hobbies include playing video games, more specifically NBA 2K19 and Schultz loves to eat a lot as well, especially if sausage pizza is included in the mix.
As Schultz wraps up his first year of high school, he said his favorite memory came this year during basketball season.
“My favorite memory was receiving a varsity jersey from Coach Parker,” Schultz said. “That meant a lot to me and it’s something I won’t forget.”
When Schultz is in school, he said his favorite subject is math because it’s what he’s best at.
Schultz said his favorite teacher this year was government teacher, Jeff Lorentzen.
“Mr. Lorentzen made topics easy for high school kids to understand,” Schultz said. “He was always in a good mood and a very funny guy.”
To end the interview, Schultz shared that he looks up to former Philadelphia 76ers basketball player Allen Iverson.
“Allen was a unique basketball athlete,” Schultz said. “He always did his own thing and worked hard to get where he was.”