Leading by example
Leading by example
NAME: JoJo McNair
CLASS YEAR: 2021
HOMETOWN: Joliet, Ill.
MAJOR: Physical education
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: Coach Rich Willis and Coach Chris Winter came to my house to visit me since it was hard for me to come to Iowa. They came to talk to my mom, my dad, and me about playing football at Wartburg, and that’s when I found out that I could play baseball too.
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR AT WARTBURG: Coach Winter influenced me a lot because, unlike at every other college, he gave me a chance to prove myself here. He made me believe that I can do even more beyond Wartburg – I can go play in the league or Canada or whatever I want. He keeps pushing me toward those things and has high expectations for me, so, for myself, I have to keep those same expectations to do better and do what I can to help the team.
WHAT HAS BEEN A DEFINING MOMENT FOR YOU AT WARTBURG: I had to earn Coach Joel Holst’s and the rest of the baseball team’s trust. He knew where he wanted to play me when I came in but didn’t think I was ready, so I didn’t play at all right away. I had to work my way to actually becoming a starter. At practice, I had to stay focused and fight for that spot. I put it in my head to never give up and fought for everyone’s trust on the team. I felt like I succeeded, and when I was finally out on the field with everyone else, everything came together. A lot of coaches tell me that I might be the youngest on the teams but that my energy makes me a leader. I have to make sure that I’m always happy, focused, and in the game. That pushes me to do more because there aren’t too many young guys with coaches looking to them to be leaders as freshmen.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: Start on two varsity teams or meet so many people – it’s so hard to keep up with names on both teams.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PHYSICAL EDUCATION: I like to stay active and around sports. I want to help others achieve their goals and help them stay fit and be healthier.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR MAJOR: I get to go out to different schools to see how the schools are run by different teachers and their curriculum. Being around kids is fun for me – watching little kids run around – I like to go out and play with them, too. I’ve done field experience at Waverly-Shell Rock, and I’m going out to Charles City this semester, since I’m looking at high school physical education. I feel like I can talk to them more, and they will listen to what I’m saying.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO AFTER GRADUATION: To be in the NFL. I really haven’t thought through a second plan because I’m hoping to make it and play the sport I love. I feel like I’m on the verge of doing something good, but it’s going to take time. Other Wartburg players have NFL teams looking at them, and I feel like that could open it up for everyone else here. Once they make it, I feel like I can make it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: Outfly was the best. I had to get up early to go to the weight room last year, and I could see them setting up the campus lawn. I knew we didn’t have school that day. I ran back to my room and started screaming for my roommates to come outside and that it was Outfly – they were so mad. It was the best day – all we did was stay outside, play around, and it was so fun. I thought it was just the coolest thing ever.
WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: Wartburg is worth it in so many ways. First, it’s helped me learn a lot more than usual academically. The people around here – it’s like a big old family and I love it. Sports keep me out of trouble and keep me focused. It’s been a great first two years already.