The Duncan Banner

July 4, 2013

Student of the Game

Bergner gains knowledge as asst. coach

Evan Grice
The Duncan Banner

MARLOW — Normally when seniors graduate high school, they go off on vacation in preparation for college.

But, for Marlow’s Wakely Bergner, he took a different approach to the first part of the summer.

The former Outlaws baseball standout chose to become an assistant coach alongside his former skipper Jeff Brewer, helping out during MHS’ summer league games.

It was perhaps a sign of the future for Bergner, as he plans to major in secondary education at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas with hopes of becoming a coach someday.  

“It was fun getting to be an assistant,” Bergner said. “I was able to still be around the guys and try to teach them a little. Hopefully I was able to help them out in some form or fashion. Just getting to sit and listen to coach Brewer was an awesome experience for me, getting to see things from the other side was very beneficial for me. I now know what he and the rest of the coaches were talking about when I was playing when they would try and tell me things.”

Bergner added it was a little weird having to go from being teammates with a lot of the older guys left on the team, to becoming a coach for them.

“I really didn’t try to tell the older guys as much as I did the younger kids,” he said. “I tried to help coach the younger guys a little more. But, I know if I had something to say the older guys listened.”

For head coach Jeff Brewer, there was never a doubt about letting one of his standout players work alongside him during the summer.

“Wakely is wise beyond his years,” Brewer said. “He eats up the game of baseball. I had a premonition at the Sulphur tournament during the regular season and told myself ‘He’s going to be a great assistant coach.’ I’ll give him five years to get graduated and maybe someday he’ll come join me or I’ll be coaching against him. He’ll have success in every aspect of college on the field and in academics, because he’s a worker and does what he’s supposed to do.”

While he might have been busy assisting the Outlaws baseball team most of the summer, Bergner did manage to fit in a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, where he soaked in all the sights and sounds of TD Ameritrade Stadium.

“I got to go watch batting practice, and watch how those guys focus on the fundamentals,” Bergner said. “Even though they were in a big atmosphere, they were always trying to do little things right. It’s a great experience to go watch. You get to see all the fan support, and see just how hard work can really pay off.”