Baseball horizons keep expanding for Greening|
For some, baseball is just a sport — one you play either in an organized league or as a pick-up game in a sandlot, or one you watch. For others it’s a way of life. Thus is the case for Eric Greening.
A 2002 graduate of Antigo High School, Greening has turned his love for the sport into a profession as the owner of the Wisconsin Baseball Academy.
Started in 2009, the Academy has grown having moved from its original location in Rib Mountain to a shared space on Wausau’s West side with Cheer Alliance Elite LLC.
Greening’s path through the world of “small ball” is taking another twist as he will step in as the varsity coach of the Wausau West Warriors baseball team. Taking over the helm of a very successful program, Greening understands he is very fortunate.
“For most coaches stepping into a position like this, there is a reason the previous one left, but not here,” he said. “I realize there were a lot of qualified applicants, gentlemen that had varsity head coaching experience, and I am very fortunate to be given an opportunity like this.”
West is a team which has made the trip to state the past four years, in addition to finishing out the 2013 season tied for second place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference under the direction of interim coach Pete Susens.
Greening is not stepping into a program that needs rebuilding. Instead he’s taking over a finely tuned machine.
“West has been very successful in its recent years with a lot of talent in the program and at the youth level as well,” he said. “I am looking forward to playing in the Valley as well. I know Antigo isn’t in the Valley anymore but I grew up playing in the Valley and am looking forward to once again facing teams like Wausau East, Everest and SPASH. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Greening also acknowledged the old adage that everything comes in threes.
“I have three big life events happening,” he explained.
He and his wife, Becca are expecting their first child late November. His goal is to have the new expanded facility opening Dec. 1 and he will take over the West team in the spring of 2014.
Nostalgia is also not wasted on Greening. Attending the Antigo Dugout Club tournament in June, his 12U Thunderjaxx team made its appearance at Little League Park and ultimately fell 5-3 in the semifinal to Merrill.
Amidst preparation to make the trip to Antigo, Greening sent a text to his brother Scott to tell him how excited he was to be coaching a team at Little League Park — a place which holds fond memories as he played on the same diamond as a Little Leaguer years ago.
Suggesting he might get a bit “misty eyed,” his brother quipped “There’s no crying in baseball.”
Leave it to a sibling to put things in perspective.
For Greening, a son of Bill and Jean Greening of Antigo, baseball truly is his life. From his career to coaching, everything he does seems to center around the sport.
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