CONWAY, Ark. (July 10, 2013) – Hendrix baseball
players Collin Radack and Matt Simmons are spending their summer playing for
Athletes in Action (AIA).
AIA is a global sports ministry with four
baseball teams located in the Dominican Republic, Alaska, New York, and the
Great Lakes. Teams are made up of students from colleges, universities, and
junior colleges across the nation.
Hendrix student-athletes play during the summer, but Radack and Simmos are
enjoying a unique experience, according to men’s baseball coach Neil Groat.
is unique is that while those guys are learning valuable baseball skills that
will certainly help our program in the long term, their mission and community
work really centers on their personal spiritual development,” Groat said.
a senior business and economics major from Austin, Texas, plays in the Alaska
“Playing so many games against high level
competition really helps me to polish my skills that I need to someday play
professional baseball, but what I love most is the spiritual side of things,”
said Radack, who also played for the Xenia Scouts on the Great Lakes team last
year. “I am truly indebted to the program.”
When not playing and practicing baseball, the
teams join in local service projects, including youth baseball clinics,
spending time at the Ronald McDonald House, and assisting local churches with
Simmons, a junior from Bedford, Texas, is an
outfielder for the Rochester Ridgeman, a team in the New York Collegiate
In addition to other service work, Simmons’
team has worked with Inner City Ministry in Webster, N.Y., and the Webster
Challenger baseball program, which gives physically and mentally disabled kids
a chance to play baseball.
Beginning their days with team discipleship and
bible studies at a local church both Radack and Simmons follow similar
schedules set by the program, ultimately playing baseball six days a week so 40
games a summer season.
“It's been incredible to get to know these
guys, especially because we are all pursuing to become total athletes,” said
Simmons. “A total athlete is one that is physically, mentally and spiritually
prepared for the competition and adversity that will arise.”
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national
leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth
consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming”
liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and
World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton
Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think
about Colleges, Forbes
magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of
the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.