Northwestern High School’s Justin Sedin enjoyed a pretty good junior season on the baseball diamond.
The Tiger junior was named the 2018 Superior Telegram All-Area Baseball Player of the Year after an impressive season that included a team-leading five pitching wins, a .522 batting average, nine doubles, 28 RBIs and only seven strikeouts in 69 at bats.
Fast forward to his senior season and Sedin crushed those stats, which made him an easy choice to be named the Telegram’s top baseball player for the second year in a row.
This past season Sedin led the state with 50 RBIs, and topped the Tigers with 41 hits, nine doubles, six home runs and a batting average of .547.
He also struck out just four times, was 2-for-2 in stolen bases and had a .907 slugging percentage.
“My teammates, including the guys in front of me like Jake Brill and Nolan Gustafson, helped a lot with getting on base so I could get those RBIs,” Sedin said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to those stats, especially the 50 RBIs.”
Sedin was also the Tigers’ ace on the mound, with a team-leading seven wins and 62 strikeouts in 45 innings.
“I love pitching and hitting,” Sedin said. “What I like about pitching is the mental aspect of it — what pitch to throw and the competition. When I’m batting, I can just go up there and relax, and swing the bat.”
Sedin credits his senior surge to being another year older and playing plenty of baseball.
“I had another year to mature and I played a lot of baseball last summer,” said Sedin, who played against college-age players for the Carroll (Iowa) Merchants in the Pioneer League. “I was there for three weeks and did all right against older competition. Just the time there allowed me grow into a better player. It was a pretty cool experience.”
Sedin’s stellar season also led to him being named first-team all-region, honorable mention on the WBCA All-State Baseball team, and the Heart O’ North Conference Player of the Year.
“There isn't a better pure hitter that I have been around,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “He’s the ultimate example of an exceptional baseball player. He was such a clutch player when the team needed a hit, Justin always delivered. His leadership and ability to excel in high-pressure situations was an example to all.
“Justin didn't reach this level of success by just showing up and playing ball — he lifts weights year round, he plays other sports, and he works on the fundamentals of baseball in the offseason.”
After playing baseball in Iowa, Sedin started getting ready up for his senior season with the Tiger football team, which enjoyed an 11-1 season. Its only loss was to St. Croix Central (21-6) in a WIAA Level 3 Playoff game.
“We dominated everybody, besides Central,” said Sedin, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound offensive lineman, who was named all-HON Conference and to the Superior Telegram All-Area Football Team.
His play on the football field also caught the attention of the Northern State Wolves, who sent him a text and invited him to visit the campus in Aberdeen, S.D.
“When I went there they offered me a football scholarship,” said Sedin, whose only baseball offer was from Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. “I really love both sports, but Northern State’s offer was too good. I loved the campus and everything about it.”
Prior to beginning a new journey at Northern State, there is still plenty of baseball to be played.
Sedin is currently playing for the Superior Reds American Legion team and has been invited to play in the WBCA All-Star Game June 28-29 at the UW-Oshkosh Titan Stadium.
Sedin got the opportunity to play in the all-star game after being ranked among the top five infielders in Wisconsin out of a field of 140.
Sedin is also quick to give credit for his success to his family, including parents, Shane and Amy, and brother, Luke.
“I want to thank my family, they supported me all of these years and supported my decision to play football at Northern,” Justin Sedin said. “They’ve helped me a lot and made me the person I am today.”
Sedin also praised coach Kroll.
“I also want to thank coach Kroll for all he’s done for the baseball program and for stepping up and taking on this role last year,” Sedin said. “He helped our team win conference and regional titles, which hasn’t been done in a while.”
The Tigers last won a regional title in 1985 and their HON Conference title was the third in school history.
Sedin is joined on the 2019 Superior Telegram All-Area Baseball team by NHS teammates senior Carson Holsclaw, junior Jake Brill, sophomore Dylan Ronchi and freshman Kole Paulsen.
Representing the Superior Spartans are seniors Ben Rhodes and Derek Fender, and juniors Joe Barker, Gunnar Hansen and Riley Rehnstrand; and joining the team from Solon Springs are senior Alex Hunter and sophomore Derek Debeir.
Sedin, Rhodes, Brill, Ronchi and Holsclaw were members of the 2018 Telegram team.
NOTES: .... Also nominated for the 2019 team were Superior junior Will Schorr and Solon Springs sophomore Ben Monson and freshman Gage Blaylock. … Sedin is the third two-time Telegram Player of the Year. The other two were also from Northwestern — Kiel Fechtelkotter (2005 and 2006) and Donnie Hissa (2009 and 2010).
Superior Telegram Baseball Players of the Year
2019 — Justin Sedin, Sr., Northwestern
2018 — Justin Sedin, Jr., Northwestern
2017 — Justin Reinkall, Sr., Superior
2016 — Ryan Anderson, Sr., Solon Springs
2015 — Sean O’Neill, Sr., Superior
2014 — Riley Gibson, Sr., Solon Springs
2013 — Tyler Long, Sr., Solon Springs
2012 — Grant Rindal, Jr., Superior
2011 — Taylor Olson, Sr., Superior
2010 — Donnie Hissa, Sr., Northwestern
2009 — Donnie Hissa, Jr., Northwestern
2008 — Mike Swanson, Sr., Superior
2007 — Zach Sitek, Sr. Superior
2006 — Kiel Fechtelkotter, Sr. Northwestern
2005 — Kiel Fechtelkotter, Jr., Northwestern
2004 — Tony Visger, Sr., Northwood
2003 — Keith Ritsche, Sr., Superior
2002 — Greg Aker, Sr., Superior