Coach Scudder Returns to the Rocks

Alec Straw, Writer

Every muscle in their body aching, sweat dripping, and heart pumping, the Rock Island Baseball Program is working hard under new Varsity Baseball Coach Jake Scudder, and looking for their first WB6 Conference title since 2010. Over the 2019 summer, Coach Jay Wayland stepped down as the Rock Island Varsity Baseball Coach, and soon after, Jake Scudder was hired. After spending 1 year as the Freshman Baseball Coach in the Rock Island program, Scudder knew that taking the Varsity coaching job was the next step. 

Scudder is a 2013 grad from Rock Island High School. Scudder was a part of the 2010 team that finished 28-4, and being ranked #1 in the state. This team took home both a Conference and Regional title. Scudder started playing baseball at the age of 8, and then went on to play at the collegiate level at Iowa Western. After playing for Iowa Western, Scudder finished college ball in the Big12, playing for Kansas State University. After college, Scudder went on to play professional baseball within the Washington Nationals’ Organization. 

It was an easy choice to to come back to Rock Island, first and foremost, it’s my alma mater and made me who I am

— Coach Jake Scudder

,” stated Scudder. Scudder is ecstatic for this upcoming season and says, “First and foremost, we are excited to establish the culture of Rock Island Baseball. We are going to turn this into a program of pride and integrity, and start pushing to get Rock Island back towards the top.” 

For this upcoming season, Coach Jake Scudder teams up with a familiar face, Coach Sean McCollum. Coach McCollum has been around the game of baseball his entire life. McCollum played all through high school, and then played 2 years of baseball at the junior college level. After his playing days were over, he coached at Sherrard High School and for the Milan Legion team. McCollum looks to start being involved with the Rocks program for the first time. “ I have known coach Scudder since he was a high school player at Rock Island, and I was coaching against him at Sherrard and Milan Legion. We have a lot of similar viewpoints on how to run the baseball program, so it will be fun getting to work with him to turn this thing around,” stated McCollum. 

Both Scudder and McCollum want to see the senior class step up and lead the underclassmen. Both coaches hope to build a team with an unbeatable work ethic, and a program where everyone buys in. Before the upcoming season, both coaches have mutual agreement that getting the athletes to work hard now will pay off in the spring. As the Rock Island Baseball Program looks to a new face to lead the program, they got to work right away. As the Rocks start fall baseball this week it will be the first step in putting Coach Scudder’s plan to work.