Western Nebraska Community College

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Maestas is batting big

Matt Maestas is awarded male athlete of the week ending April. 3.

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Matt Maestas, first baseman of the men’s baseball team, has been awarded male athlete of the week for the week ending April 3.

Maestas is a 20-year-old sophomore from Thornton, Colorado. He had a good week last week, finishing 5 of 9 with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored. In a win against NJC last week, Matt went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Matt also blasted a pinch-hit 2-run home run against Trinidad State. Matt is batting .347 on the year with nine doubles and three home runs.

College can take time adjusting to, especially when the environment can be so different from home. Matt talks about the differences between Scottsbluff and home.

“I am from Thornton, Colorado. Scottsbluff is definitely colder than home, the wind here is brutal. But the snow on the mountains back home is unbelievable, not like the bluffs here,” Maestas said.

However, Matt adapted well and has thoroughly enjoyed his time here.

“I love it here at WNCC. Even though there aren’t very many things to do around town, I love the family and the brothers that have come into my life here. My teammates are the best, and I love competing with them every week,” Matt said.

Matt’s education and career is just as important to him as his sport is, because of this he is taking his time to decide on his major. He wants to make sure that it is the

“I am stuck in the middle between biochemical engineering and sports psychology.

Athletes have often played their chosen sport for a very long time. They enjoy the sport and grow to love it as time continues. Matt fell in love with baseball at a very young age.

“I learned to walk by my dad throwing baseballs to me and making me hit them, and then walking over to get them. The first tee ball team I played on was when I was three years old and I played with four year olds. I just kept playing ever since,” he said.

Although Maestas now plays first base, he hasn’t always played there.

“My favorite positions to play are pitcher and outfield, I only recently started playing first base,” Matt said.

A team’s success is not only based on talent, but also good team chemistry. Maestas has confidence in the Cougars and feels that if they continue to go the way they have been, they will do great things this season.

“Our team is great, we need to stay confident, trust in each other, and believe that we can beat anyone. As long as we stay together and play our game, we are unbeatable,” Maestas said.

All athletes have something that they look forward to most about practice. That can be in the shape of a drill or something similar. Matt talks about what he loves to do at practice.

“My favorite thing to do is called a two fungo drill. We get to take ground balls and actually get to field and make throws over to second base. It’s a lot of fun and lets us get some fielding work in,” he said.

Prior to competition, athletes can often be found completing pre-game rituals. This is something that helps the player prepare for games mentally and physically.

“My pregame ritual is lying in bed and visualizing my at-bats the night before game day for half an hour, praying, and then going to sleep. Then if we are at home, the next day Austin Michaud and I listen to ‘Booze Cruise’ on the way to the field,” Matt said.

High school offers 3 seasons of sports, which means that students have the option to take part in more than just their one chosen sport if they so wish. Maestas used this as an opportunity to play an individual sport to give him a different perspective on sport as a whole; golf.

For any athlete to be successful, they must put an extreme amount of effort in to their sports. Therefore, they put their bodies under a lot of stress. It is because of this, that more often than not athletes are no strangers to injuries. Matt suffered an injury in high school that has taught him a thing or two about fighting through the pain yet continuing to work hard.

“When I was younger in high school, I injured my arm. I had to work with it and figure out how to manage being able to play in pain sometimes, when the weather would effect it, or if I had thrown too much the day before,” Maestas said.

Motivation can sometimes be hard to find. However, it can be found when having role models and also through quotes or sayings. Maestas has several people that he looks up to and finds motivation from.

“One of my role models in the game is Evan Longoria, but out of the sport I would say that my role models are my uncles, as well as my parents,” he said.

He also lives by the quote “You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.” This reminds him that every day he must put the effort in to achieve success.

Being a part of college-athletics can sometimes be the most rewarding yet challenging parts of one’s life. Athletes are expected to maintain high levels of performance in the classroom and on the field, almost making it like 2 full-time jobs. Maestas explains what he has found to be the most challenging aspect of it.

“The most challenging aspect of being a college athlete for me has got to be, the fact that I have to be away from home for so long without any chance of an off day. We play so many games that there is no time for any days off, or any time to take a trip back. Sometimes my family is able to come up here and that makes it better,” he said.

Now Maestas almost has 2 years of the college-athlete experience under his belt, he has some advice to offer to other considering becoming one.

“You better love the game you play. College athletics are too hard to be a part of if you aren’t completely dedicated to the sport you play. It is a job, it takes work, one day at a time, you have to grind and work harder than anyone else on the field and in the classroom. Finally, never, ever, give up. Don’t let anyone know that they got the best of you, and don’t ever back down from anyone. Anything is possible if you work towards it and dedicate yourself to perfection,” Matt said.

When sport and school can feel so demanding, it is important for one to take time for themselves. Maestas explains his favorite activities to participate in, during his free time.

“I enjoy, hunting, fishing, paintball, going out to the movies, hanging out with friends, and I’m always interested in a game of catch,” he said.

Athletes require great amounts of energy to fulfill their daily duties, this therefore requires a good amount of nutrition. Maestas talks about his ideal meal.

“Steak nachos and a huge glass of chocolate milk,” Matt said.

Matt also wanted to add a little something about himself.

“Well I feel like people around campus think I am mean, so I will just say that I am actually not mean. I just don’t talk very much to anyone, because I don’t know a lot of people. I am pretty much just a gentle giant,” Maestas said.

Anything is possible if you work towards it and dedicate yourself to perfection!”

— Matt Maestas

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Western Nebraska Community College
Maestas is batting big