Northern Star: Kade Gonsorowski
Gonsorowski is the only senior on the Esko baseball team this season.
ESKO, Minn.- Going into his final season at Esko. Kade Gonsorowski is playing for a reason that’s bigger than baseball.
“I grew up playing with my best buds and throughout the years I played with Jackson Pfister, we grew up playing baseball together and he always had dreams to play at the next level,” says Gonsorowski, “I feel like, I just have to stick around, I love the game too and I just want to play for him as well.”
During the fall of Gonsorowski’s sophomore year, one of his best friends and longtime teammates Jackson Pfister, passed away suddenly of a congenital heart disease. Later that spring, Gonsorowski and his teammates took the baseball field without Pfister by their side.
“It’s never easy, I have all my buddies though. We’re all in it together we all lived through it, all my coaches they’re in on it too. We’re always just playing for him, it was a tough time but we all got through it together and we just play for him now and recognize how great of a person he was and a great teammate and a great friend,” says Gonsorowski.
Head Coach Ben Haugen says, “It been really tough on the whole senior class, but it’s been really really tough for Kade as well. He’s been really strong, I just can’t believe how mature he is and how he’s been able to handle it. He’s been a great leader, leads by example, he’s great with the young guys and he’s just been very deliberate wanting to do what Jackson would want to do.”
Since then, the Eskomos honor Pfister in every game, wearing his initials on their uniforms and playing the game he loved so much.
“He’s with us every game and every practice. We carry him around on our hats, we have JP 14 right here. He’s always with us, we know that, he was with us today. It means so much more, just playing for him. I mean it gives me that extra drive to be able to, whenever I’m having a bad game or something, I’m always thinking about him and knowing what he would’ve done and he would’ve just grinded it out and worked harder,” says Gonsorowski.
Gonsorowski and the Eskomos are going into the final stretch of their season, and keeping Jackson Pfister in mind as they cross the white lines, the team is confident they will have the resiliency to take them deep into playoffs.