Pelican Rapids multisport athlete Hayden Christenson is the type of athlete that values camaraderie and friendships that sports forge between teammates above all else. While his athletics career ends with the baseball season Christenson says he welcomes the milestone and is excited for what life after high school has to bring.
I met with Christianson and talked to him about his choice of college, how he feels the baseball season is shaping up and what’s unique about growing up in the Pelican Rapids area.
Q: What sports do you play for the Vikings?
A: I played football in the fall, basketball in the winter and now I’m in baseball.
Q: Do you have plans for after high school?
A: I’m not going to do any sports after high school. I’m planning on going to NDSU for engineering.
Q: How do you feel about ending your athletics career with end of this baseball season?
A: I’ve invested a lot of time into this so it’s going to be hard … but at the end of the day it’s what I’m choosing — leaving it all on the table — no regrets.
Q: What set your mind on engineering?
A: It has all the stuff I’m good at and I enjoy things like that and I think it will be a good suit for me as I get older.
Q: What do you like about NDSU?
A: It’s kind of always been on my radar and when I visited it, it just felt right. So I knew it was going to be the one.
Q: Are you ready for the change of pace living in Fargo will bring?
A: Of course living here we go to Fargo a lot. I think I’m already used to it in a way. Both my parents and my sister have also gone to colleges in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Q: I know football season has been over for a while but how did your senior season go?
A: It was a blast this year. Our teammates, we all got along, we worked well together. I think we worked well together because we just enjoyed being with each other and that helped us on the field a lot. We almost knew what each other was thinking on every single play and things like that.
Q: How has baseball preseason been going?
A: We’ve been inside the whole time so far. So we’re restricted to a few things but we’re getting better. It’s a good young team this year we’re building.
Q: How hard is it to practice without live pitching?
A: There’s still a lot of improvement we can have but it’s nice to get some live pitching here and there.
Q: As a student how have four-day school weeks benefitted you?
A: I actually like it a lot. It’s really nice because normally during the school week there’s like appointments you have to make and ever since we’ve had it I’ve made everything on Mondays. I’ve been busy on Mondays getting everything done then. It clears up my other days a lot and we have access, I can get into school early, work on things before or after so everything is easier to do.
Q: Hobbies outside of sports you enjoy?
A: Hunting and I’ve always done a few things like that.
Q: What is unique to growing up in the Pelican Rapids area?
A: The diversity, it’s great. You get to meet people from all different kinds of races, everything. And some people might not like that but if you lived here your whole life you would understand. It’s much more of a blessing than anything else.
Q: Was it a process or have you always seen things that way?
A: It’s always been that way for me. There’s nothing different about it to me, it really is awesome.
Q: Is there one highlight from your sports career that you’re particularly proud of?
A: Nothing in particular, just being able to play here at Pelican Rapids has been an honor to me because it’s just a great group of people to play with.
Q: How would you like to be remembered as an athlete here at Pelican Rapids?
A: I’d like to be remembered as a leader. Knowing that everyone liked to be around me, that I helped everyone around me get better and more so that everyone had a good time in sports and enjoyed their time here.
Q: Advice you can share with young athletes?
A: The more time you put into it the better you’ll get and in the end the more you’ll enjoy it … and enjoy it while you still can because it will end.