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Musgrave signs on to play catcher for Black Hawk Braves baseball

Colton Musgrave signed on to play baseball at Black Hawk College in Molineat Tuscola High School on April 27. In the front, left to right, Steve Stevens, Scott Musgrave, Colton Musgrave and Amanda Musgrave. In the back, left to right, Donna Stevens, Connor Musgrave and Taylor Musgrave. Photo by Dominik Stallings.

By Dominik Stallings

Colton Musgrave signed on to be one of the new players for the Braves baseball team at Black Hawk College in Moline. The senior will start as a catcher for the up-and-coming team in the fall.

Musgrave said the school was the only one he was interested in playing in. He said he met with the head coach Josh Keim and fell in love with the program when he visited the campus. He plans on studying business at Black Hawk College when he starts in the fall.

“I like the culture he was building,” said Musgrave, “The school and atmosphere all felt homely to me.”

Tuscola’s head coach for baseball, Caleb Englehardt, said, “He’s an outstanding leader and an unbelievably hard worker. I think that anyone who’s watched him in baseball sees that he’s the guy on the field who has the dirtiest uniform. He’s getting in front of every ball that he can. (…) People saw that on the basketball court. He’s a hustle player and does the job that doesn’t get all the headlines. He’s a quiet leader, but shows his leadership through his hard work ethic.”

Musgrave said the Black Hawks have always been a pretty solid junior college baseball team, but since their new head coach, Josh Keim started, they have been on an upwards trajectory.

“They have been a really successful program over the years and they are getting a great player,” said Englehardt.

He added that they are getting a versatile player who not only excels as a catcher but also could play other positions as well. Currently, Musgrave is the fastest runner on the team.

“If you can hit the ball, coaches are going to find a spot for you to play. There are a lot of good days ahead for Colton,” said Englehardt.

Musgrave won’t be joining the team on his own, either. His friend Colin Karr from Bloomington Central Catholic High School is coming with him as well.

Baseball has been part of Musgrave’s life since an early age. He remembers pickup baseball when he was six or seven years old, and he hasn’t looked back since.

His father, Scott Musgrave, introduced him to the sport and Colton has been finding any chance he can get to play like his father and make him proud.

“I just love everything about baseball, I’m a competitive person, but it’s different from any other sport. You control you. I like that it’s a mental game and thinking about scenarios and being involved 24/7 with your teammates,” said Musgrave.

“He’s the only senior on our team. I can’t begin to say how important that leadership has been. Some run away from problems and others dive in to fix a problem. He runs in to fix it. (…) He stuck with it and he will be rewarded for those experiences,” said Englehardt.

He added that the team had a hard time coming back from Covid since the players lost a year and a half due to the pandemic.

It makes you mentally tougher to go through those experiences. The younger players see him do things done the right way and see what it takes. When the program is back to what it once was, Colton can take some ownership in that,” said Englehardt.

“Last year was pretty special. I got really close with the senior class,” said Musgrave, “It was a great group of guys. We could go on the field and not think about anything else. We didn’t win many games, but we won a good regional game and that is something I won’t forget from my junior year.”

“The fall couldn’t come faster. I’m ready to get down there. I’m a competitive guy and I’m ready to compete at the highest level that god has allowed me to compete at,” said Musgrave.

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