At the end of Derek Marshall’s midget ‘AA’ season with the Melville Millionaires, he didn’t want to hang up his glove.
“I knew I wanted to keep on playing ball past high school,” said Marshall. “I love playing and didn’t want to call it quits.”
After looking at several college options, the Yorkton native chose Southeastern Illinois Junior College, which is based in Harrisburg, Illinois, as his next baseball team.
“I also was looking at a four-year school in Minneapolis and one in North Dakota as well,” he said. “In the end, I just thought Illinois was the best option for me right now.”
Former Yorkton Cardinals coach Jared Franklin got the ball rolling between Marshall and the junior college. While in Yorkton for a visit, Franklin called up Marshall to see if he’s interested in moving to Illinois.
“The assistant coach of the Illinois baseball team, Jared Franklin, is the former coach of the Yorkton Cardinals and he is the one who got the process going,” said Marshall. “He was here visiting again in late May and he was wondering about what I’m going to do for baseball. I told him I didn’t know, so he said ‘our team is looking for an infielder.’ So we went out to the field and played a bit and after that he recruited me.”
Marshall has never been to Illinois before, but he’ll get a taste of what the state has to offer very soon.
“I’ve never been there before so I don’t really know what to expect,” said Marshall. “We’re headed there on Wednesday, August 14, so I’ll find out right away.”
Unsure of what he wants to do as a career, Marshall decided to enroll in Arts and Science in Harrisburg.
“I wanted to take general Arts and Science to keep my options open,” he said. “I’m not sure what I want to do for a long-term job, so this keeps many options open.”
Before training camp, the 18 year old is going the extra mile to get in tiptop condition to make an impression.
“Right now, I’m trying to prepare myself for the training process of the team,” he said. “I’m working out a lot and am going to diamonds, too. I want to go to camp in very good shape.”
Illinois is only the start of Marshall’s college dream. He has his sights set on a four-year college after getting his feet wet in junior college.
“I plan to go to a four-year school after junior college,” he said. “I’m going to work hard to make that happen.”
Marshall played his last two minor baseball seasons in Melville because Yorkton doesn’t have a midget team. The former Sacred Heart High School student is ‘happy’ with how his last season went, but feels his club underachieved.
“I’m happy with how things played out in Melville,” said Marshall. “We didn’t have as good as a regular-season as we hoped, but we still had a strong team and played well.”
Marshall’s last midget season was, however, almost cancelled. Shortly into the season, the Saskatchewan Baseball Association banned him and three other Yorkton boys from playing in Melville because of zone issues. The SBA later revoked their decision, though.
“It was scary when that happened,” he said. “I thought it could affect my college options. Not playing in my last year would have really hurt me, but luckily they let me play the second half of the season.”