Athlete of the Week: David Groeneveld

Athlete of the Week: David Groeneveld

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By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor

Q: What about the game of baseball caught your interest and why did you start playing?

A: I started playing baseball like any other kid. My parents signed me up for little league to make me test out the game. What drew me to the game though was how much I enjoyed playing it and working at it off the field.Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 22.57.39

Q: Describe the moment when you were first named to the All-ECC First Team.

A: At first, I was kind of surprised because I really hadn’t thought about it yet. After Coach Gaffney told me though and congratulated me the first thing I did was call my dad. He’s been by my side through every step of my career and in that moment I was just really excited to tell him and thank him.

Q: Have you always been a first basemen or have you ever played any other positions?

A: I was a good pitcher up until I was about 14 years old when I hurt my arm and had to give up pitching. I played a lot of third base and first base growing up, but I fell in love with first base. Playing first base made me feel cool because of the special glove I get to wear. I would always advise younger kids to play multiple positions when starting out.

Q: You currently lead your team with 18 RBI’s and have a .309 batting average. How does your work ethic in practice and in games translate to your overall performance?

A: In practice, I always make sure to take batting practice seriously and that my swing is good and comfortable. Beyond that, I love to hit outside of practice whether it be off the tee alone or with some teammates. Hitting is definitely the area of my game I take the most pride in, so I love to work at it and constantly try and improve my offense. I have worked really hard with our hitting coach to develop a good mental approach to keep me focused and confident in every at-bat.

Q: Why did you choose LIU Post?

A: Well I am from Long Island and I knew right away I didn’t want to go too far away from home. I wanted to be somewhere that my father could see me play, but I also wanted to play a high level of baseball. I had some offers to play at southern schools, but LIU’s campus and its location drew me in.

Q: How do you prepare for games?

A: I’m not too superstitious on game days. I don’t have to eat a certain meal or do any crazy rituals the day of the game. The majority of my preparation is done in the days leading up to the games, like working hard at practice and taking my swings. Other than that, I always try to prepare by going over the opponent’s statistics before the game, trying to see what kind of pitcher I will face.

Q: Why do you guys think you have what it takes to make a run at the College World Series this year?

A: I think first and foremost, our goal is to make it to and win the East Coast Conference Championship. That is the goal we put in our heads at the beginning of the year. We believe we are a “regional” type team, so winning our conference tournament would get us into the regional tournament. Beyond that, only eight of 200 plus Division II teams make the College World Series every year. For us, we possess enough talent that the sky truly is the limit, because we have two of the top pitchers in our conference and perhaps the region in Joey Arena and Jake Decarli. Then in turn, I believe we have the top catcher in the conference with Tom Asbaty having a really nice year. Just looking at our roster as a whole, we are extremely confident in the group we have. Our coaching staff does a great job in preparing us for every game to the point where we believe we can beat whoever shows up on the field. For the World Series itself, that’s obviously the ultimate goal for every Division II team. However, we are really focused on taking it one game at a time and not looking ahead. The first goal is the ECC tournament, then we know we can play with any team in our region especially with our pitching staff. We just need to work hard and show up every day because there is certainly enough talent here to achieve a great deal.

Q: Favorite Athlete?

A: My favorite athlete is Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees; he is the best hitter to ever play the game of baseball. I love watching him swing.

Q: Plans after graduating?

A: I honestly don’t know yet. I plan to work a few jobs over the summer while taking a summer class or two to finalize my degree, but beyond that I am really undecided about the future. I will interview for jobs this upcoming fall and put myself out there but I don’t have any definite plans. For now its baseball, baseball, baseball, and I just want to enjoy every day of it until it is over.

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