From Springfield to Augustana: Why so many Tigers wind up Vikings

From Springfield to Augustana: Why so many Tigers wind up Vikings

SPRINGFIELD, Minn. (KEYC) — Sam Baier, Vishe’ Rabb, Isaac Fink.

The three were standouts at Springfield High School and are now competing at the same college; Augustana.

Many Springfield athletes choose to continue their athletic and academic careers with the Vikings for many of the same reasons they enjoyed high school sports.

“That was the place to be for some reason. It’s just a really good culture and community there,” said Rabb.

“The big thing for me coming to Augustana was seeing all the success that came before, especially out of Springfield athletes, and seeing Sam win that national title was huge,” said Fink.

Baier won state championships in wrestling and baseball during high school and continued that success in college by winning a national championship on the Augustana baseball team back in 2018. The foundation for the infielder’s success comes from the town he grew up in.

“I think it’s the great community, coaches, and the support system around us that shows us what we can be. A lot of people around here have a work ethic that want to go. They see the people in front of them, it sparks an interest and they want to do the same things,” said Baier.

Baier took home NSIC Freshman of the Year honors back in 2017 after hitting .313 that season.

On the court, Rabb made a similar impact for the Vikings basketball team in the 2018-2019 season after averaging over 10 points a game with a shooting percentage of 45. The guard also took home NSIC Freshman of the Year honors for that season.

The guard was off to another solid start this past season before tearing an ACL and meniscus.

“The rehab has been really good, they say you just have to take it one step at a time, and I completely agree with. It’s something that you don’t really understand the magnitude until you’re going through it. I’m taking it as it comes and going through the obstacles in my own way,” said Rabb.

From Springfield to the pros: A community that cultivates talent

Fink is a dual-sport athlete at Augustana, playing basketball and baseball.

The guard played in 30 games this season averaging 7.5 points-per-game as a true freshman.

“In the fall, I was playing basketball and baseball equally. I’d get done with a basketball workout then go to baseball practice and hope we weren’t running that day. At the same time, I enjoy both sports a lot. During the basketball season, I was on my own schedule. The coaches knew I’d hold myself accountable. I’d try to find a catch partner on the team to stay ready for the season,” said Fink.

As the three continue to shine at Augustana, the next step is potentially turning pro after college.

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