Student-Athlete Spotlight: Owen Bischoff
While success on the field is something that Owen Bischoff takes pride in, working to be a better person comes first.
The Yakima Valley College baseball player said that same commitment by the team’s coaching staff made the Yaks the right fit for him.
“Our coaches here, they talk about being a good family member,” Bischoff said. “How life after baseball and outside of baseball is more important than the game itself and I really admire that.”
The utility player, who hails from Mt. Angel, Ore., said he first became aware of YVC at a prospect camp where he met Assistant Coach Cash Ulrich, who invited him to visit campus a week later.
“As soon as I came here I was pretty certain I wanted to come here,” said Bischoff, who noted that having a residence hall on campus made it easier to get to know teammates and build a sense of community.
Bischoff, now in his third year at YVC, has earned his business transfer degree and aims to get an athletics scholarship so he can continue playing at a 4-year college.
“I don’t know how many other colleges prioritize teaching their players to be respectful young men. I’ve just been really blessed to come here and have coaches who have those values, who help us push boundaries and become better people.” – Owen Bischoff
Even though the baseball season hasn’t started yet, Bischoff has a busy schedule between his studies and practice. The baseball team typically practices Monday through Friday and scrimmages at least once a week, often playing a doubleheader or tripleheader on Saturdays. Then there’s additional weightlifting on top of that.
“It definitely can be tough,” Bischoff said. “Having a routine is important. I tend to do my schoolwork right after breakfast and then before lunch and just chip at it every day of the week.”
His favorite class has been business advertising with instructor Eric Patrick.
“He’s just a great guy, his class was super fun and applicable to real life,” Bischoff said. In particular, he noted a class project that asked students to come up with an advertising plan for a local business.
Bischoff chose Nino’s Mexican Grill, a favorite spot for him and his teammates.
“We developed some different advertising plans for them, like introducing a punch card promotion,” he said. “It was interesting to think about what you could do to push forward a business and keep it going.”
While COVID meant last year’s team didn’t have a chance for post-season play, they won 18 straight games to close the season.
“That’s probably the coolest thing that I’ve been a part of playing baseball,” Bischoff said. “Since COVID we haven’t been able to have a playoff, but hopefully we’ll have another cool story to tell this coming season.”
A commitment to community service is another way Bischoff and other players try to contribute outside the game. Before COVID, the team would visit with the residents of local nursing homes. They also partnered with Breakthrough Church in Yakima to deliver boxes of food to people last year and worked with the Kiwanis Club of Yakima to present refurbished bicycles and brand-new helmets to children at the Madison House Youth Center.
“I don’t know how many other colleges prioritize teaching their players to be respectful young men,” Bischoff said. “I’ve just been really blessed to come here and have coaches who have those values, who help us push boundaries and become better people.”