Aiden Boehm/Coxsackie-Athens Baseball
Q: How did you fall in love with your sport?
A: Baseball was the first sport I ever played. From a young age, my dad and I would play catch in the backyard and hit balls off the tee. As soon as I was old enough, I signed up to play tee ball and later on coach pitch. I looked forward to going to practice and playing games with my friends. My dad was the coach of my teams all throughout Little League and even threw to me throughout my years of coach pitch baseball. Soon after I began to join travel teams like the Coxsackie Owlz, and met new friends from other schools. I owe many of my best friendships to my time on the baseball field. I love the sport of baseball for many reasons though. It is the ultimate team game at times whether it is turning a double play or executing a hit and run, but it also provides opportunity for individuals like during an important plate appearance. Baseball has taught me many lessons and I owe much of my character today, to the sport.
Q: What’s your favorite moment as an athlete in that sport?
A: My favorite moment on a baseball field came during my junior and what turned out to be the final season of high school baseball. During my sophomore year, I hit my first home run at an away game against Cairo-Durham. It was an opposite field grand slam, but unfortunately my dad was working and was unable to be at the game. He later said, “Of course you hit your first home run when I wasn’t there.” We also weren’t able to get the home run ball right away. So next year during my junior season we were once again playing in Cairo. This time with my dad in attendance, I hit another home run. As I rounded first base, I watched my dad run after the home run ball he couldn’t wait to get his hands on. This truly was my favorite moment on a baseball field as my parents have supported me throughout my baseball journey.
Q: What is your favorite sports moment as a fan?
A: My favorite sports moment as a fan was going to New York Giants training camp at UAlbany for my fifth birthday. This was the year following their Super Bowl win against the undefeated Patriots and it was the first time I watched one of my favorite teams win a championship. I was then able to go meet and talk to some of the players who I had watched make that magical run including Ahmad Bradshaw, and Eli Manning.
Q: What athlete do you look up to the most and why?
A: As a lifelong New York Yankees fan, the athlete I looked up to most is Derek Jeter. Not only did Jeter have a hall of fame career on the field, but the way he carried himself was admirable. He truly appreciated the fans and I admired his loyalty to the Yankees as he spent his entire 20-year career in New York, which has become more rare in today’s game. Jeter was always accountable for his actions as he always answered the tough questions from the grueling New York media and never had any serious off the field issues. I also admired how he continued to be involved in the game as an executive after his playing career was over. Jeter was a player that Yankee fans could be proud of and I always tried to model my work ethic and approach to every game after the captain.
Q: Best advice you’ve received from a coach, mentor or teammate in your sport?
A: I have had the privilege of having many great coaches, like Coach Kiefer and Coach Scott with the Coxsackie Owlz, Coach Dodig with my American Legion team, and finally Coach Wilkinson and his staff with the Coxsackie-Athens program. I feel at some time or another each of these coaches has preached a similar message that truly resonated with me. Coming from a small Class B school in Greene County, oftentimes during travel ball we would play much larger programs from the Albany area. Each time our coaches would tell us that although we may be outsized and outmanned, we will not be outworked today. They preached that we may not be the most talented team on the field, but we would be the most hardworking. This also was preached in high school regarding our individual work ethic. Coach Wilkinson would tell us not to be satisfied with being a starter, the best player on the team, or even the best in the conference. He told us the only way we could reach our full potential as a player was to work to be the best baseball player you could be and the individual accolades would come later.