Men’s baseball reflects with positivity


Chet Phillips

Michael Cortez waiting for a pitch in the batters box.

Assistant Coach Nick Harsted was asked about how he became a coach for the team, how the season has gone so far, and what the expectations are for the rest of the season.

When he was asked about how the season has unfolded in his eyes he responded, “The season has had many ups and downs. The biggest takeaways I have seen in the response the boys have had so far.”

Adding that wins and loses are not the only way to measure a season’s success. He is happy to see his player’s keep a good attitude throughout the ups and downs. “The boys are continuing to stay positive and show up with an winning attitude everyday,” said Coach Harsted.

Additionally, he also praised the players ability to always keep a positive attitude and work ethic.

When asked about what drew him to the coaching position at Illinois Valley Community College, he replied, “The opportunity to impact young lives is something that is important to me. I am able to coach a sport that I love but also watch their growth over the two years they spend here.”

He was also optimistic about the team’s potential.

“IVCC baseball can be something special but it will require a lot of time and effort,” explained Coach Harsted.

He currently works as a GIS coordinator for the city of Ottawa, as well as a engineer technician for Estchied, Duttliner, & Associates.

When asked about how he manages to integrate coaching baseball into his daily life he explained, “Coaching is a passion of mine. In my current situation in life I have every reason not to coach.” While coaching takes up valuable time available away from work.

“Being involved in helping people is something that gives me purpose. It makes me happy. I’ll never be too busy to help people.”

Lastly, he was asked about his hopes and expectations for the end of the season.

“My hope is that we end the season on a high note. We continue to get better week to week and it’s shown.”

He added, “Continuing to build a positive and winning culture is the stepping stone to a successful baseball program.


Michael Cortez, who is both a catcher and outfielder for the Eagles, and Jace Addis, who is a pitcher and centerfielder, were asked about the current season, their expectations for the end, as well as their decision to come to Illinois Valley Community College to play baseball.

Cortez said, “I chose to come to IVCC because at the time before I transferred (here), I was at a different university getting ready to play football.”

He added that he viewed transferring to IVCC as a opportunity to get away from football and clear his mind.

Addis said he picked IVCC because it was close to home for him and he did not have to move away to go to school.

The two players were also asked about what they expect for the end of the season and what they hope to achieve in that time. Cortez answered, “The way I see the season ending up is that regardless of the record, this team will have worked really hard through some very tough adversity whether it was in the fall, winter, or spring.”

Acknowledging the tough season they have had, currently sitting on two wins compared to 13 loses, while also recognizing the positive aspects of a rather disappointing season. “I will always be proud to be a part of this team and I know that I have created some lifelong friendships regardless of where the team ends up.”

Addis said that he expects to end the season on a positive note and without a losing record.

The players and the team hope to end the season on a high note and build on the positive aspects of this year’s season next fall.