Hohneke, Meyer lead softball, baseball teams by example

by Abbie CraneStaff Writer

Junior softball player Calie Hohneke and senior baseball player Kyle Meyer are displaying excellent leadership for their respective teams so far this season.

Hohneke is 10-3 at the mound, and Meyer is batting .471 at the plate. They have helped their teams get to where they are now, with the softball team at 19-5 and the baseball team at 9-11.

Hohneke said she’s happy she has done so well this season, and she can only hope to improve, but what really matters to her is how well they do as a team.

“We work really well together as a team,” Hohneke said. “We take wins and losses as a team, and we try to balance each other out.”

Softball coach Henry Christowski said Hohneke works very hard both on and off the field to be a good leader.

“She is a fierce competitor,” Christowski said. “She leads by example rather than spoken word.”

According to Christowski, Hohneke’s record for wins in a season is 11, and she has already won 10 games this season. He also said she has really improved at becoming a better pitcher for the level of competition.

“She has become more of a pitcher and learned how to pitch for the caliber of teams we play,” Christowski said. “She has also learned that striking them out isn’t nearly as important as getting them out.”

Hohneke said for the rest of the season she would like to focus on both team and individual goals. As an individual, she would like to be named All-American and All-Conference. As a team, they want to do well in the conference and make it to regionals, with a goal of advancing to nationals.

“She is a pleasure to coach and anyone who loves the game like she does is a pleasure,” Christowski said. “Her work ethic is unquestionable and she is a positive influence on the team.”

Meyer is also pleased with his performance this season, yet he’s excited to see how the team will progress as many of the younger players gain more experience.

“We have so much talent, and I look for us to be a very good baseball team as our younger guys continue to progress,” Meyer said. “I’ve been blessed throughout my career to be on teams that have won a lot of baseball games, and that is what I intend to help do this year with Simpson.”

Coach Ben Blake said Meyer is a talented athlete who works hard and influences the other players to work hard as well.

“He has pretty much all the tools it takes to be a good baseball player,” Blake said. “You combine that with his strong work ethic, knowledge and love for baseball, success should follow.”

Meyer said the team wants to win the conference and keep advancing through the brackets until the World Series.

“All I can do now to achieve those goals is to do whatever I can to help our younger guys progress quickly, and to give each game everything I’ve got,” Meyer said. “The rest is in the hands of the baseball gods.”

Blake believes Meyer is a positive addition to the team, and like Hohneke, he is a pleasure to coach.

“He has a remarkable sense of humor,” Blake said. “Kyle has an immense competitive spirit, and guys like that are a joy to coach.”

Meyer is originally from Appleton, Wis. where he was an All-State selection his senior year and an All-Tournament selection after his team won the state championship.

After graduating, he went on to Madison Area Technical College on scholarship and played two seasons there after receiving a medical red shirt his freshman year due to injury. He then went on and accepted a scholarship at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. but transferred to Simpson in the spring of 2006 because he did not like Lindenwood.

Hohneke is originally from Indianola where she was first team All-Conference for two years and second team All-Conference for two years. She was also All-District, All-County and second team All-State, along with Academic All-Conference all four years of her career at Indianola High School.