Oberthien takes the reins of Bobcat baseball | News, Sports, Jobs

Todd Oberthien, head baseball coach at New Marshalltown High School, wants to help make the MHS Diamond a destination again.

After enduring back-to-back single-win seasons for the first time in at least 45 years, the Bobcat baseball team is once again under new leadership. Oberthien, who was a member of two state championship teams at Solon High School, hopes to bring the same skill and craftsmanship to a proud program trying to break out of its current funk.

MHS went 5-20 in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, then 6-31 last summer, and there’s not much to sugarcoat that lack of success. Oberthien, an assistant coach at Marshalltown Community College also, said the Bobcats will have to look long and hard in the mirror to get back to being competitive night after night.

“They want to turn things around and get back to the history and the lore of what Marshalltown baseball used to be,” Oberthien said. “The qualities of making sure kids have good basic fundamentals, making sure kids play the game hard and with effort and play with respect and in the right way, and really have a mentality of team on this all the time.

“Just getting a lot of kids out in general and having a bigger program is really important.”

The number of participants plummeted. Marshalltown will field a varsity team and a freshman team, a far cry from suburban schools in the Central Iowa Metropolitan League. The Bobcats will just have to endure one more summer of the CIML calendar as the Iowa Alliance conference kicks off next school year.

Until then, however, Oberthien doesn’t want to worry about who fills the other canoe. Marshalltown needs to get back to the level of baseball it needs to compete, and that’s hard enough.

“I want them to not think about it so much that we have to win every game,” Oberthien said, “I want them to do their best and I want them to play good clean Bobcat baseball, and I want them to they think about the show they put on for everyone who comes to watch.

Oberthien will turn to three team captains to bring the expectations of the technical staff to the less experienced players. When a team vote seeking a captain resulted in a three-way tie, Oberthien tagged all three players with the captaincy.

Senior Ziek Slocum and juniors Nick Rebik and Seth Smith will carry the Marshalltown co-captain moniker this season. All three will be called upon as leaders on and off the field, whether by example or with a loud voice.

“They’ve done a really good job so far and a lot of it is just being super vocal and super fun and positive,” Oberthien said. “We really try to be positive in what we do. I don’t think negativity is going to take this team very far right now.

“We try to build the program through positivity, being a good teammate, making sure we always do what we’re supposed to do and what’s best for the team.”

Oberthien highlighted a number of players he expects to contribute for the Bobcats this season, recognizing those three captains as the best returning hitters and pitchers for the most part.

Senior Alex Thompson will take on multiple roles, as will juniors Kaden Ricken and Keiler Blue. Sophomore Caleb Kusserow and freshman Sam Greazel should contribute, and Oberthien said youngsters like freshmen Fabian Segovia and Zandor Stupp and eighth-graders Nick Wise and Jacob Hayes should contribute. also have the chance to play a role.

“I really hope it becomes an impactful thing for people to go out and enjoy Bobcat baseball again,” Oberthien said. “The more we can entertain people and give them something to be proud of, I think that’s really important and that’s what we tell our guys: take everything seriously, want to be a winner.

“When the lights are on, I want people to know the lights are on and people go out and have a good experience, and then hopefully our players do well enough and victory will come with that.”

Marshalltown’s season kicks off with a pair of doubleheaders in Des Moines this week. The Bobcats visit Hoover on Monday and Roosevelt on Tuesday. The team’s home opener will be on May 23 against Ankeny Centennial.

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