By Jordan Murray
The life of a collegiate athlete is never easy. Balancing the demands of practice and competition with a class schedule, and sometimes more, is a daunting task for most.
Viterbo senior pitcher Martin Aguirre knows plenty about this balancing act. Aguirre, a captain, balances baseball and school with raising his 21 month-old daughter, Emilia.
Aguirre came to Viterbo in the fall of 2010 from Wenatchee, Wa., bringing his girlfriend, Itzia, and his daughter along with him. Aguirre chose to leave for Viterbo because he wanted to “go somewhere to start a family. Honestly, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”
On the field, Aguirre is hoping to be a leader for the V-Hawks. He worked as both an infielder and pitcher in practice this fall, but figures his biggest contributions in the spring will be on the mound. Aguirre has struggled with arm problems in the past, and doesn’t want infield work to affect his contributions as a pitcher.
Aguirre had problems finishing hitters off at times last spring, but believes an improved curveball and changeup will lead to greater success this season. His first start this spring was a strong one, a two-hit shutout win over Ozark Christian in which he struck out five batters while walking just one.
When asked about goals, Aguirre keeps academics in mind. His number one goal for this spring is to make Academic All-Conference. A sports management major, Aguirre is passionate when it comes to his field. Despite the many demands he faces, Aguirre finds time to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse on Friday nights. He hopes to run his own Boys and Girls Club in the future.
According to Aguirre, the most difficult part of this juggling act is finding time to spend with his daughter.
“Some days the only time I get to see her is when I’m taking her to daycare and picking her up to take her home,” Aguirre said. “Road trips are tough. Just being away from her and Itzia is tough.”
Another challenge for Martin has been transportation. Itzia attends Western Technical College and aims to become an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. With both Martin and Itzia attending school and Emilia in daycare, coordinating one vehicle with multiple schedules has been difficult.
“Sometimes I’ve only got a half hour to take Itzia back to Onalaska, bring Emilia home from daycare, and get back to class or practice,” Aguirre commented.
Aguirre sees La Crosse as an ideal place to live and raise a family. “Things are great here, the people are great,” Aguirre said.
As for the V-Hawk baseball team, his goal as a captain is to create a family atmosphere where teamAguirre
and daughter, Emilia pose for a picture. Photo contributed by Martin Aguirre.
Baseball player Joey Bergles helps train the women’s soccer team in his free time. Photo contributed by Joey Bergles.
mates can trust one another.
“It’s a big responsibility. I need to set an example and do the right thing,” Aguirre said. “Hopefully that will lead to success on the field.”
Aguirre and the V-Hawks will host conference foe Clarke University on March 27 in their home opener.