After a 50-year break in action, the Grace Christian University Tigers are swinging for the fences again!
Back in the day, Bob Marshall ’72 coached a club team of young baseball players as they scrimmaged teams around the region. The 11-man roster and a few photos live on in the 1972 Grace Bible College yearbook, but the memories of baseball alumni like Charley Young ’75 hold fast.
“It was a blast,” Charley says. “It helped me integrate my faith into everyday life and gave me a platform to share my faith.”
Charley went on to become a lifelong pastor.
The schedule and the coach—and of course, the players—are different, but the mission of Grace Christian University baseball is the same as it was fifty years ago. They continue to focus on more than just the game.
“Our team will bring glory to God through our integrity, work ethic, discipline, and servant hearts,” says head coach, Colton Wolfe.
In September, when fall exhibition games began, Coach Wolfe told Grace becoming the Head Coach was “definitely God’s doing.” Coach Wolfe previously played independent baseball in New Mexico, as well as for Calvin University, where he earned a degree in sports management. At Cairn University in Pennsylvania, he finished a master’s degree in organizational leadership and served as assistant baseball coach before moving back to Michigan. In 2020, he joined the online enrollment team at Grace Christian University, and in the spring of 2021, he accepted the head coach role. Assistant coaches Kyle Peets and Jamie Bristol aid Coach Wolfe.
“To have the opportunity to start from scratch and create a foundation for the years to come is truly an honor,” Coach Wolfe says.
Coach Wolfe’s excitement and vision for the future of Grace baseball has spread to his inaugural baseball team. Jared Garnaat, a midfielder from Lowell, Michigan, is a freshman in the communications program.
“A big goal I have is setting an example for the guys that will be joining our program in the future,” Jared says. “Being a part of the first team gives us all the opportunity to set the course of this program.”[/vc_column_text]
“It’s very important to have people supporting you in doing what you love.”
The Tigers’ 40-game schedule holds games in Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio to play teams in the National Christian College Athletic Association and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Home games are played at Lamar Park in Wyoming, Michigan, just two miles away from campus. The Tigers’ home opener is March 30 at 2:00 p.m. Coach Wolfe looks forward to the community atmosphere the baseball season will bring to Grace Christian University.
“I think it will bring more than just a fun place to go on a Friday afternoon,” Coach Wolfe says. “It will bring another aspect for the student body to feel proud of their institution and peers.”
Baseball is back and here to stay. Come support your Grace Christian University Tigers!
Written by: Kate Klingensmith. Kate Klingensmith is a former Grace student and is excited to support the baseball team this spring.