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Motivation + dedication= success

Noah Westerhuis, the Chemeketa Storm's first baseman, tags out a Central Oregon base runner as he dives back to the base.

Noah Westerhuis, the Chemeketa Storm’s first baseman, tags out a Central Oregon base runner as he dives back to the base.

Motivation + dedication = success

‘Keep … a positive attitude and you can accomplish anything’

By Jake Branham
Blood, sweat, stress; there is hardly enough time to breathe as a student-athlete-worker.
Noah Westerhuis, a second-year infielder on Chemeketa’s baseball team, juggles school, baseball, and work on a daily basis and never complains.
According to friends and teammates, he is a role model for time management and staying motivated when the headaches associated with keeping up his grades and his baseball skills come and go.
“It’s hard getting used to it. But once the grind starts, you get into a rhythm and a routine to prepare yourself for the sacrifices that take up your typical day, five days a week,” Westerhuis said.
Westerhuis wakes up at 5:15 a.m. each day so that he can be at work by 6 a.m. for his maintenance position at Chemeketa’s Salem campus.
His day doesn’t end until 7:30 p.m. at the earliest, when he can finally get an hour or two of free time before studying and calling it a night so that he can start all over again.
Depending on the daily priorities and his scheduling conflicts, he typically works from three to six hours daily, juggling his classes and baseball commitments at the same time.
Westerhuis said he worked because “I’m the first one in my family to go to college, so being able to support myself and have the ability to play the game I love and attend school for free is all the motivation I need.”
Westerhuis grew up in Redmond. He was a two-sport athlete at Redmond High School, playing football and baseball. He then moved on to Mount Hood Community College to play baseball during his first year of college.
Because his year was plagued by injuries, Westerhuis was unable to participate in team activities while at Mount Hood. He sought other options for baseball following the school year and settled on a transfer that brought him to Chemeketa.
The move has helped him battle through the adversities associated with the fatigue and exhaustion of his busy days and weeks.
“It wasn’t a fun year for me at Mount Hood. I was hurt and not able to play, and that was more painful than the injury itself. It fueled my fire even more, and my motivation has remained high ever since to keep living my dream,” he said.
“On my worst of days, I just have to make sure I take the necessary steps to stay hydrated, rested, and fuel my body in a healthy way. I just have to remind myself that my goals and work ethic have gotten me as far as it has to this point, so it helps me not let this fortunate opportunity I have slip away when it is in my complete control.”
This sort of motivation and dedication is appreciated.
Fellow teammates Brian Middleton and Brock Koone, for example, are well aware of the sacrifices that Westerhuis has made to stay on course.
Koone said, “At the end of the day, after I have finished all of my classes and baseball activities, I am dog-tired to say the least. If I added work to my daily schedule, I don’t know how I could manage that also.”
Middleton and Koone both said that they admired the toughness that Westerhuis shows, not only as teammates but also as roommates and best friends. They spend more time around Westerhuis than anyone else on the team and look to him as a source of motivation.
“Noah helps me realize the potential and capability of balancing out your time to get everything done,” Middleton said. “From school and baseball, whether homework or spending extra time at the field, his motivation boosts your own to stay on track with your own personal goals. You really can accomplish anything.”
Nathan Pratt, Chemeketa’s head baseball coach, also applauds and respects the persistence and dedication that Westerhuis brings to the team and the tough mentality he possesses.
“Noah has tremendous work ethic, ferocious resiliency, and great determination. He makes everyone around him better, and he maintains a positive attitude consistently,” Pratt said.
Westerhuis said he was appreciative of the month-long winter break after a stressful but successful fall season.
“If you get the aches and pains of the hard work done now, early in your life, it will make all of your future accomplishments and breaks worthwhile and more meaningful,” he said.
“Keep your own goals in sight with a positive attitude and you can accomplish anything you want, regardless of the struggles and obstacles that come along the way.”

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