One Iowa athlete that may look at Independence Day a little differently is Waverly-Shell Rock baseball player Andrew Holden. Andrew’s family is from the Shell Rock area, but Andrew was born in Saudi Arabia while his father was working there for an oil company.
Holden even played for the Saudi Arabian team in the Little League World Series five years ago, which the Go-Hawk senior says was a great experience. He says it’s hard to describe how fun it was.
Holden says that most Americans would probably be surprised by how much baseball is played in Saudi Arabia. He says everyone plays baseball as there aren’t many other sports played. Holden says the Americans there don’t play soccer, just baseball.
Holden says that the biggest difference between playing in Saudi Arabia and playing in the States – besides the temperature – is the level of intensity here. He says it’s a more relaxed atmosphere in Saudi Arabia.
Waverly-Shell Rock coach Casey Klunder says that Holden’s experiences have given him a very strong work ethic and even-keel personality. He says Holden is a hard worker who is constantly trying to improve, and knows from his past experiences what he has to do.
Holden is leading the Go-Hawks with a .500 batting average and 31 RBI this season. He’s also 3-0 on the pitcher’s mound with a sparkling 0.82 ERA.
By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls