The door would always be open.
Ethan Wishon kept that comment from Mount Marty University head baseball coach Andy Bernatow in mind.
If the time came where Wishon — a 2019 Yankton High School graduate who chose to play baseball at South Dakota State — ever changed his mind, he was always welcome at Mount Marty.
“That speaks volumes to him, as a person,” Wishon said of Bernatow.
“He did that for Mason Townsend, who is one of my buddies, and he always said that to me, too. He knew that I might never come back, but he wants what’s best for people.”
Eventually, Wishon took Bernatow up on his offer.
Wishon, who spent the fall 2019 and spring 2020 seasons with the SDSU baseball program, officially signed Sunday to enroll at Mount Marty and play baseball for the Lancers beginning this fall.
It was another situation where that initial offer to a recruit eventually paid off, according to Bernatow.
“You don’t always get them the first time around, but we made sure he knew the door was always open,” Bernatow said.
Wishon was a former standout baseball player for the YHS club and American Legion teams, and was also a record-setting quarterback for the YHS football team.
“We recruited him heavily; we really, really wanted him,” Bernatow said. “He fits the format of what we look at. “We’ve had a lot of success with Yankton kids and felt that he had the ability to help us.”
Wishon said he contacted Bernatow over the Christmas holiday break and expressed interest in returning home to play baseball.
“I just wanted to play baseball again and I wanted to grow a little bit religiously,” Wishon said. “I figured the best thing I could do was go back to a great community, and be closer to my family and friends.”
It was the same thing his friend Townsend did when he transferred from the University of Sioux Falls to Mount Marty, Wishon added.
Mount Marty jumped at the chance to add Wishon to the program, based on everything it already knew about him, according to Bernatow.
“He’s a varsity level player and has the ability to do some really good things,” Bernatow said. “He has a strong arm; a live arm, and we’re not afraid to have guys like that play a position and pitch. Ethan might have that ability.”
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