Xavier's Garrett Ries a dual threat in the winter

HS journalism: Junior on Saints' wrestling team while prepping for baseball

Xavier’s Garrett Ries, wrestling South Tama County’s Pedro Rodriguez in December, also is working on his baseball skills this winter. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Xavier’s Garrett Ries, wrestling South Tama County’s Pedro Rodriguez in December, also is working on his baseball skills this winter. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — For many, the winter months are a time to bundle up, stay inside and relax until spring.

For Cedar Rapids Xavier junior Garrett Ries, transitioning every day from wrestling to baseball keeps him busy all winter.

On December 7, Ries announced his commitment to play baseball for South Dakota State University via Twitter. However, he still has a long way to go until he starts playing college ball.

He has two more wrestling and baseball seasons at Xavier, while also playing baseball year-round for his club team — Perfect Game Iowa Select.

“I think the hardest thing about doing both sports is trying to find the time and energy to do them both,” Ries said. “It takes a lot of commitment to lift, have practice, and lift again.”

Although many might call him crazy or say it would be easier to only do one sport during the winter months, Ries does not want to give up either, especially baseball.

“Hitting is one of the best feelings in the world,” Ries said. “I am a catcher, and I like the involvement I have in the game.”

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Even through all the stress and tiredness, Ries continues to spend countless hours practicing every day.

“Garrett is a great kid playing on a high level team where everyone has the same goal of playing Division I baseball,” Perfect Game Iowa Select Coach Jack Sole said. “All of these young men are very motivated and drive each other to work at the highest level.”

This future Jackrabbit has dreams beyond SDSU baseball.

“I would like to get drafted and play in the MLB at some point in my life,” Ries said. “But if that does not work I hope to go and work in the car business.”

No matter where Ries ends up, the work ethic he has formed over the years will benefit him in the future.

“Garrett is a great young man with a tremendous upside,” Sole said. “He will be successful at everything he does in life.”

Ries and the rest of the wrestling team host Cedar Rapids Prairie on Thursday, starting at 6 p.m.

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