Hello, My Name Is: Michael Borchardt

The Rib Lake senior’s seven years dedicated to the program has laid the groundwork for more leaders like him in the future
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 9:38 PM CDT
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RIB LAKE, Wis. (WSAW) - Michael Borchardt has been a part of his high school baseball program more than most student-athletes. He’s been dedicated to the Rib Lake program for seven years.

“I got to come in sixth grade,” said Borchardt. “That’s when we get to start being managers so ever since then, I’ve been at practices, getting to learn and be a part of the program.”

Those three years as a manager helped Borchardt prepare for the real thing once he walked down the sidewalk from the middle school into the high school.

“It’s great for skill development for the young guys,” said Borchardt. “That’s kind of how Mr. I {Rib Lake head coach Dick Iverson) looks at it is he’s getting the next group of guys ready to play Rib Lake baseball.”

Borchardt is a testament to the managerial experience working well. The now-senior has started all four years of high school and was named an all-conference first-team selection in the Marawood North last year. Speaking from experience, he says coming in as a manager is a great way to connect the generations of Rib Lake.

“You’re able to learn from older guys,” said Borchardt. “Them having the willingness to teach you and get you ready for being able to play Rib Lake baseball, it’s such a big culture around here that we’re able to have the next guy be able to be ready to go.”

Rib Lake’s roster size as a whole plays a factor in making sure guys come in prepared. This season, Rib Lake has a roster of just 14 guys. A roster of that size also means guys have to be prepared for any position. That’s quite literal for Borchardt who’s played every spot on the infield at points throughout his career.

“Coach is comfortable putting me anywhere,” said Borchardt. “I think he feels that for a lot of guys that he’s able to put them where he needs and we’re all able to play to kind of play different positions to help the team in whatever way needed.”

Borchardt is just four games into his final season in a Rib Lake uniform. However, throughout this season, he’s going to remain committed to continuing to help younger players develop, with one player, in particular, getting some guidance.

“It’s just been really nice, especially with my brother Seth this year,” said Borchardt. “He’s a freshman. I kind of get to teach him what I know about the game and I get to learn from him as well.”

The admiration goes both ways as younger brother Seth likewise appreciates the one-and-only year he gets with Michael.

“It’s been awesome getting to just talk about it after the game,” said Seth. “Just to share a year with him is really fun and just to watch him be a leader is really cool.”

“It’s been really fun having him,” said Michael. “We talk on the car ride home on what practice was like and he has ideas and I have ideas. It’s been great.”

Michael Borchardt will head to the University of Northwestern-St. Paul next year where he will continue his education and baseball career.