The most successful teams in sports always seem to have a particular player who has the natural ability to lead their team regardless of the circumstances. By simply attending a Braves baseball game, one can quickly recognize just exactly who the undeniable leader of the team is.
John Boidanis’s voice can be heard from far beyond the playing field, almost as if he had a microphone attached to his uniform. It doesn’t make any difference what inning it is or what the score of the game may be, Boidanis is constantly encouraging and congratulating his teammates over the course of the game.
Prior to the start of the season, Coach Chavera chose Boidanis to be one of the three captains for this year’s team. Boidanis was honored when he was picked to be one of the captains, and it’s something he takes a lot of pride in.
“That’s one thing I really pride myself in is being vocal on the field,” Boidanis said. “I try to keep the energy going for the whole team, and keep everybody in the game.”
Not only does Boidanis lead his team vocally, but he also leads with his outstanding play on the field. His current batting average is a solid .373, and he also has seven home runs and 32 RBI’s this season as well. However, individual statistics is not something he concerns his self with. Boidanis would much rather see his team accomplish their overall goal of reaching the World Series rather than having outstanding statistics.
“My demeanor on the field is always emulated towards the team. I want our team to do well,” Boidanis said. “When the team succeeds the individuals succeed, so our main focus is on the team succeeding,” Boidanis said.
Boidanis grew up in North Brook Illinois, where he was a three sport athlete playing baseball, football, and ice hockey. Boidanis always knew that he wanted to play baseball in college, but the road to getting a baseball scholarship wasn’t something that came easy for him.
Boidanis was sidelined for most of the baseball season during his junior year at Glenn Brook North High School due to a strained shoulder muscle and a torn ligament in his elbow. The following year he separated his shoulder during a football game, which forced him to sit out for the first fifth-teen games of the baseball season. Due to all of the nagging injuries Boidanis didn’t receive a lot of offers from colleges to play baseball.
However, Coach Chavera gave Boidanis the opportunity he had been looking for since he was playing little league when he offered him a spot on the team. Unfortunately, Boidanis continued to struggle with injuries during his freshman season. He suffered another shoulder injury, which resulted in six months of rehab to fully recover from the injury. At that particular time, Boidanis thought he would never play baseball again.
Boidanis had one particular supporter by his side during the rehab process. His uncle, who drives over two hours to attend every home game, played a major role in supporting Boidanis during his time of need.
“He really pushed me to stay with it when I thought about giving up, and that really helped me out a lot,” Boidanis said.
All of the hard work Boidanis put in over the past three years has finally paid off as he recently accepted an offer from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to join their baseball program.
“That was honestly probably one of the best days of my life. It’s always been my dream to play Division I baseball… When I first got that call my stomach dropped, and it was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Boidanis said.
From his first day at Black Hawk, Boidanis was thinking about what he had to do be a Division I baseball player. He admits at times he questioned if all the hard work would be worth it in the end. Boidanis was only one phone call away from accomplishing a dream of his since he was a kid. Once he received that call, Boidanis realized all the hard work was definitely worth it.
“As soon as I got that call, I knew that everything I did these past three years was worth it one hundred percent,” Boidanis said.”
Boidanis will be the first to admit that he’s changed a lot since he first arrived at Black Hawk three years ago. Bodanis says he was a little wild and sort of a troublemaker during his freshman year, but he credits Coach Chavera for helping him keep is head on straight.
“The expectations we have here as a program has really changed me for the better, and basically has helped me turn into a more respectful person,” Boidanis said.
Over the course of his three years here at Black Hawk, Boidanis has loved his experience, and he believes that deciding to play for the Braves was one of the best decisions of his life. Boidanis has gained valuable friendships from his teammates and coaches that he will never forget. Boidanis has grown closer to his teammates than some of his friends he’s had since he was ten years old.
“I’ve met guys here that will probably be in my wedding one day,” Boidanis said. “I’ve met a lot of people that I will know for the rest of my life and that I will love forever, so I’m definitely going to miss it a lot.”
For the last two seasons, Boidanis and the Braves fell short of reaching the NJCAA World Series by only two games. Boidanis knows this is his last chance to help his team reach the World Series, and he believes this year’s team has what it takes to win a National Title.
“We have all the talent in the world, and if we can put it all together, we can easily make it. I think were just as good if not better than everybody that we’ve played,” Boidanis said.
From overcoming injuries to becoming the undeniable leader of the team, Boidanis’s story displays how one’s determination and hard work can lead to a road full of success.