SPRINGFIELD, Minn. (KEYC) — The town of Springfield has produced a number of professional athletes in the past decade despite having a population of around 2,000. This is what’s behind that success.
Jordan Milbrath, Tyler Marz and Alex Fink.
The three graduated from Springfield in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively and achieved a professional rank..
Marz is a member of the Carolina Panthers heading into his fifth season in the NFL.
“I never imagined I’d be going to London, seeing different stadiums, and I got the opportunity to do that. Not many people can say that. I’m glad it’s lasting this long, hopefully, get a few more years out of it. I’m going to keep working hard and grinding and good things will happen,” said Marz.
The offensive lineman made his first career NFL start back in 2018 wearing Tennessee Titan blue in a battle against the division rival Houston Texans.
“Obviously went against J.J. Watt quite a bit which was a big test, but it was a lot of fun. We came away with the win, it was a good team victory and a good experience. Playing sports is the best thing ever. I was able to do it one more time, and I was grateful for it,” said Marz.
On the diamond, Milbrath is entering his eighth year of Minor League Baseball as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization.
“For me, it was always do well in school, I loved sports, but do well in school and if sports work out, great. That was always my mentality. I gave 100 percent in everything, I ended up getting drafted. From there, I gave 100 percent to baseball. Whatever you do, give 100 percent. Whatever your passion is, mine happens to be sports and baseball. Whatever it is, do your best and work hard,” said Milbrath.
Over the years the right-handed pitcher has bounced around a couple of different farm systems and owns a career earned run average of 4.23 with 25 wins.
“The best moment for me in professional baseball was winning the Minor League championship twice. I think winning the highest game possible at your level is a great feeling,” said Milbrath.
The Springfield talents complement the town’s foundation for the number of athletes over the years that have gone on to do big things after their high school career.
“Yeah there’s good athletes here, but good athletes come from a good community. Good coaches, good teachers that can nurture and create athletes in a good environment. That’s what Springfield has, and that’s what’s allowed them to have so many good athletes over the years,” said Milbrath.
“I think it starts with hard work. For me it was instilled in me from my parents, grandparents, and I have two older brothers that kind of led the way for me. You might not be the most athletic, but if you put your mind to it that you’re going to work hard. Good things will come,” said Marz.
The pool of talent out of Springfield is constant, and there’s no doubt that many others hope to follow in the footsteps of Milbrath, Marz, and Fink.
Next week on KEYC News Now we’ll take a look at some of the town’s talent at the collegiate level.