OSAGE, Iowa – There comes a time when playing high school or collegiate sports is not an option anymore. When that time comes, some are not ready to give up.
Luckily for those people, there are some options out there to get their fix.
The Osage Northstars isn’t your average baseball team.
“From young, just out of high school, mid 30 guys, even some older ones than that, but everyone knows the game,” said Colin Quinn, who has been with the team for 12 years.
The team is made up of a of guys who still have a passion for the game.
“The long time kids, the kids that play for more than a short time, makes it so enjoyable. says Quinn. That’s the first thing he wants to do in the spring, is play baseball. Are you ready to play? You bet. So we are trying to build a continuity of younger and older,” said Northstars Coach, Steve Jensen.
For Jensen, finding continuity is no problem. Every guy on the team has a big thing in common, they do not want to stop playing baseball.
“I grew up playing my whole life, and it’s just nice to come out and play with guys I know and grew up playing with,” said Jake Kocklan, who is in his second year with the team.
“As long as you can still play, you’re going to play. If I couldn’t play, I’d probably come anyway, and they’d let me know if I couldn’t play anymore. As long as you can still play, you might as well, because there’s going to be a day when you can’t do it anymore,” Quinn said.
When that day comes, you can turn to coaching.
“I was brought up around the game of baseball, I have a love for the game, and I was given the chance to play when I was a young man by a great gentleman, Al Christenson. I’m just following along in his legacy. Trying to keep baseball alive in north Iowa,” Jensen said.
While coaching the local amateur team may not seem glamorous, Jensen loves working with the local guys.
“Newman and Mason City kids, Charles City, Osage, local kids, local teams that have a tradition, that do it the right way with their coaching and their upbringing. That’s huge, because, I don’t have to tell them what to do on the ball diamond, they pretty much know,” Jensen said.
One of their favorite things to do on the diamond is win.
“We’re here to win, but we’re also having fun doing it. Some people may look at it as, oh, I’ve got to do this on Saturdays or Sundays, it’s going to take up some time or whatever, but we come out and we have fun with it,” Kocklan said.
Jensen said it is getting harder to find guys who want to play for the team, so it is getting a little harder to stay competitive.