Interview with Zoe D’Angelo Nomination & Photography by Heather Wanninger of Sweet Lemonade Photography Indiana
The Nomination: Brooks Coetzee, I'm amazed at kids who have a dream from a very young age and with hard work and God given talent make those dreams come true. He is a college freshman this year playing at Notre Dame. How awesome is that?
How did you become interested in baseball? Growing up in South Africa I didn't even know what baseball was. I played every sport possible, but my favorite was always cricket. When I moved to the states, baseball was the closest thing to cricket. After I earned a spot on a local travel team, the rest is history, I have been hooked ever since.
Tell me about playing for Notre Dame. Playing at Notre Dame is special. Some schools tend to be one dimensional, only good at athletics or only solely focused on academics. Therefore, I was so excited to earn my scholarship. I can compete in one of the best conferences for baseball while earning a degree from one of the top schools in the country. Notre Dame is going the challenge me both on the field and off the field.
How has your freshman year been so far? Freshman year so far has been a humbling experience filled with many opportunities to grow. My coaches and teachers all told me that college will hit you hard if you aren’t ready and hit hard it did. I got to the point where I felt like I wasn’t even playing the same sport I played growing up, everything was so much faster, and it demanded so much of my time. Although I have faced so many challenges, I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.
Who is your biggest inspiration in life? The biggest inspiration in my life is my dad. He is one of the hardest working and most selfless people I know. My dad is constantly pushing himself to further his career and be the best he can be. He is also the reason I am where I am today. He has sacrificed so much of his time for a baseball career. Whether it is driving across the country, so I can play in a tournament, or videotaping every at-bat, he has been my number one fan since the beginning.
What are your plans for after college? My plans for after college to pursue my baseball career until I do not have any more opportunities. When that day comes, I will have a degree in Business Management and start a family. Brooks was featured in issue 15.