Addison Webb came to Kellogg Community College for the quality of the baseball program, and he hasn’t been disappointed.
The Bruins won the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) 2011 Region XII Baseball District Championship Webb’s freshman year and went on to place fourth in the nation at the NJCAA’s Division II World Series.
“Really, it was the baseball,” Webb said after a recent practice at Battle Creek’s Bailey Park. “I knew that KCC had a good baseball program, and I wanted to play for the best.”
A native of Kalamazoo, Webb is a graduate of Mattawan High School, where he played both baseball and football for four years. He also played basketball for two years, stepping down after his sophomore year to focus on baseball and to train for the sport through the winter.
After graduating high school, Webb said, he had multiple options to pursue the game going forward.
“The other programs that I had a chance to play for were at higher levels, but they didn’t have that kind of a mindset that I thought would give me the best chance for success,” he said. “I felt that I’d grow more and get more out of being here.”
That mindset is one that Webb said is unmatched by other programs for its mental toughness, and mental toughness is a factor he’s no stranger to.
Webb was named KCC’s Outstanding Male Scholar Athlete for the year at the college’s annual Awards Banquet held late last month, and next week he’ll graduate with an Associate of Arts degree before transferring to either Western Michigan University or Michigan State University to pursue a degree in computer science.
Eric Laskovy, head coach of the baseball team at KCC, said Webb has been proactive and driven both on the field and in the classroom.
“Addison’s been a reflection of everything that we want in a student athlete,” Laskovy said. “We’ve seen a lot of development with his skill set defensively and offensively, and obviously that’s what you strive for when you bring guys in to a two-year school. It’s all about development, and Addison’s development has been accelerated through his strong work ethic.”
On the field, Webb, a utility player who most often plays second base, has distinguished himself by hitting .294 for the season, scoring 13 runs and racking up 11 RBI in 23 games played (at the time of this writing).
Academically, he’s earned a 3.82 GPA and credits a calculus class led by KCC math instructor Saeed Sabouni and a programming class led by KCC computer engineering technology instructor Ruth Schultz as being among classes that “will have prepared me pretty well to move on in the classes I need at the next level.”
While classes at KCC officially end on May 7, Webb’s time on the field is far from over. The NJCAA’s 2012 Region XII Baseball District Championship runs May 11 through 14, and he and the rest of the Bruins – currently ranked first in their Michigan Community College Athletic Association Conference – are hungry for another win.
Next season, Webb hopes to score a spot as a walk-on at whichever school he chooses going forward.
“I’m not ready to be done,” he said of his baseball career. “It’s been great, and I wouldn’t have traded it for any other experience.”
For more information about the baseball program at Kellogg Community College, visit www.kellogg.edu/athletics/baseball/index.html.
For photos from recent games at home at Bailey Park, visit Kellogg Community College’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KelloggCommunityCollege/photos.