By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — The University of Wisconsin at Stout was one of Ethan Kjellberg’s top three college choices, and as of last week, he is committed to playing for the Blue Devil baseball team.
Kjellberg signed a National Letter of Intent November 13 indicating his acceptance of a spot with the UW-Stout baseball team starting in the fall of 2018.
[emember_protected] The Mounder senior said he was first approached in February 2017 at a pitching camp by Blue Devil pitching coach Nathan Kilness.
“(I knew) They were interested in me, and the day of being accepted to Stout, I let the head coach, Ben Kincaid, know I wanted to play for Stout,” Kjellberg explained. “They were excited to hear that, and I committed.”
Elk Mound baseball coach Paul Andrea said Kjellberg’s father told him the senior hurler planned on choosing the Blue Devil program a few months ago. Kjellberg said his parents were very excited and proud of him. He explained his family was happy because they knew baseball is a sport he has put a lot of time into, and that playing college baseball was one of his dreams.
Paul Andrea had plenty of good things to say about the Elk Mound senior.
“Ethan has been a great student athlete who works extremely hard, and exhibits a true passion for the game of baseball,” he said. “He has improved each season since his sophomore year, playing varsity to become the Dunn-St. Croix player of the year as a junior last year. He has the opportunity to become the first ever two-time recipient of that honor for baseball.”
The Elk Mound pitcher and first baseman has plenty of good memories to build on for his final year as a Mounder baseball player. One of his first goals was to play alongside his brother as a sophomore during his brother’s senior season, a goal that was realized when Kjellberg earned a chance to play first base early that season.
He earned honorable-mention in the Dunn-St. Croix for that season, but knew he could improve still further.
“My goal for junior year was to get first-team all-conference and conference player of the year,” he said. “I started a little slow in the beginning of the season, but after all the hard work I put in the offseason, I accomplished those two goals and exceeded them by getting honorable mention all-region and athlete of the week through WEAU.”
Kjellberg and Andrea are in agreement that WIAC baseball is one of the toughest NCAA Division III league’s in the country, which will provide Kjellberg with ample opportunity to keep his baseball career close to his hometown while getting his college education.
When he is not in practice as a college student at UW-Stout, Kjellberg will be studying for a degree in Science Education with a Biology major and Chemistry minor. He hopes to someday teach high school biology and coach baseball.
Coach Andrea said he is looking forward to Kjellberg’s final season as a Mounder, and wishes him the best as he moves on to the next chapter of his life academically and athletically. [/emember_protected]