The transition from high school to college is a challenge in itself, as many have a difficult time coping with a new environment. But for Cal State Fullerton’s freshmen baseball players, they are not only new on campus, but they must deal with a variety of extra responsibilities.
CSUF baseball is considered a prestigious program by the NCAA. Numerous Titan athletes have gone on to play at the major league level, setting a high standard for incoming freshmen.
“I knew what to expect. It’s a prestigious school,” said freshman infielder Coby Kauhaahaa.
During his high school years, Kauhaahaa worked diligently, taking his game to new heights in order prepare himself for Division I college baseball.
First-year athletes are sure to feel a vast difference between playing varsity baseball on their high school team to playing for an accredited college program.
“The transition is pretty big. This is one of the top Division I programs in the nation,” said freshman infielder Hank LoForte. “I love baseball; I love coming out here everyday and working with it.”
A challenge most freshmen athletes share is time management. They are required to schedule classes around practices, games and other athletic events.
“We’ve came a long way as freshmen here and it’s going to get tougher and tougher, and I mean you just got to bear down and stay within yourself,” LoForte said.
According to LoForte, most of the older players on the team are willing to take younger classmen under their wing and teach them the ins and outs of college baseball.
Kauhaahaa not only finds help from his teammates with baseball, but they are also helpful when it comes to balancing schoolwork and athletics.
Another distinction between high school and college athletics are the number of spectators attending a game. The pressure of playing in a sporting event is greatly magnified at the university level due to fans counting on their team to win.
Despite these challenges, Fullerton’s standout freshmen like LoForte, Kauhaahaa and Colton Eastman always remember to wear their Titan uniforms with pride.
“It feels great. I walk out of here thinking we’re Cal State Fullerton Titans,” LoForte said.
This trio of freshmen understand that the key to a successful career for CSUF’s baseball team not only demands patience, but also takes advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
“They picked you for a reason and when your time comes, just show them what that reason is and it will all go from there,” Eastman said.