Player Testimonials

Player Testimonial

The ability to play for the Haysville Aviators was truly a blessing. Being able to play in such a God loving atmosphere is an amazing experience. Being able to continue my playing career after I finished my senior season was all I could ask for, and it was a great way to stay in shape if there was any chance to sign as a free agent. Not being on a college team out of high school this had the same feeling, but knowing god would provide me with the right direction now like he did then was what made the trip worthwhile. Being able to help this new team accomplish the goals that they set out for the NBC and beyond and making great friends was another plus. Being signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates is a dream come true, and I have to thank the Aviator organization for the roles in my life during the past two months. Not everyone’s plan goes as they hope, but God will take you on a route to make you a stronger and better person. This was one of those experiences for me!

Cory Rhodes – King College (Free Agent – Pittsburgh Pirates)


During my summer with the Haysville Aviators I experienced growth not only as a baseball player but also as a man and a follower of Christ. From the relationships that I built with my host family, my teammates, and the coaching staff, I developed a deeper love for the game of baseball as well as growing in my faith. It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

One of the things that first drew my attention to play for the Aviators was the fact that they are a faith-based organization. I was pleasantly surprised by how much this was a real part of the team. There were several opportunities to make a huge jump in my faith and at the end of the summer I left knowing that I took a huge step in my commitment to walk with the Lord for the rest of my life. I would encourage anyone who plays for the Aviators to take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available. When I did, I felt God’s presence in my life much more than ever. Everyone involved with the Aviators really demonstrated what it was like to live as God’s servant. I was truly thankful for how much they invested in my life.

While I loved the experience off the field, I also enjoyed being part of a team that would establish a winning tradition. It was an awesome experience playing against some to the top competition every night and coming out with a win. Although we got off to a rough start, which can be expected with a group of guys just getting to know each other, finishing fifth in the NBC World Series to end the season was a great way to end the summer. The coaching staff was extremely helpful and invested in us as players. My experiences on the field alone made me a better person.

While I was skeptical about living with a family whom I had never met for the summer, I quickly started to feel right at home. My family was so welcoming and made what could have been a hard transition a lot easier. Although I came to play baseball, some of the best times were spent with my host family. At the end of the summer when baseball was done and it was time to go home, it was the relationship that I had built with my host family that made the move back to Indiana that much more difficult. They influenced my life in so many ways and I am so grateful to have these new friends in Kansas.

To anyone considering spending a summer with the Haysville Aviators, I would say that it is definitely worth your time. The Aviators offer experiences that are not a part of other summer teams. You will not only grow as a baseball player, but you will grow as an individual.

Cole Heberling – Anderson University


My summer experience is one which I will never forget.  After my last college game of my freshman year, I had no idea what I was going to do in the summer.  I prayed that God would find something that would encourage my faith and also help me grow in my faith.  A couple days later I received a phone call from Mr. Wheeler and it was the answer I had been looking for.  My experience with the Aviators was good for my baseball, but more than that, it was incredible to my faith. WIth coach Grinder and coach Aubin, baseball wasn’t the only thing that mattered.  It was important to them, but the spiritual relationship with Christ was even more important.  How many baseball teams are there that have Bible studies led by the head coaches? Not too many.  It was something I had never experienced before.  My total outlook on life changed because of this.  The mentality that I had of being a “hotshot” went right out the roof.  I am nothing. I am absolutely nothing without Christ.  It doesn’t matter how good I am at baseball, it can be taken away at any second.  God is there forever.  The summer also blessed me with friends that I still talk to on a regular basis.  Teammates that encourage you in your walk with Christ are hard to find, but this team was full of them.  Joel Wheeler was also someone I grew very close to.  Joel was the best team chaplain.  He was at almost every game and never failed to ask you deep questions everyday that were not allowed to be answered “yes or no”.  These questions made you think deeply and actually get something out of these conversations.  The host family I received was too kind.  They took me in as their own, which is a great feeling to experience.  My summer with the Aviators receives a 10 out of 10 and will always be on my mind.

Nick Walker – Eastern Oklahoma State College


All through the school season it was hard to stay on track with my faith and I ventured off the path a little bit because there wasn’t anyone for me to  walk with in my faith. So by playing with Aviators I now have a solid group of friends I can fall back on and really use to help me stay strong in my walk with God, but also to help me be a light on my campus.  This summer has also helped me to be a light on my campus and help spread the gospel to my teammates and other students on campus so that those who come behind me at Rose State have people to fall back on when they struggle.  My experience with the Aviators was a real blessing and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Jake Baxter – Rose State College


This was a great opportunity to grow in my faith.  I had the privilege to lead a small group and it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone while really growing in my faith as well.  Leading a group challenged me to look deeper into scripture.  The owner, coaches, and chaplain were a major blessing in my life for baseball but more importantly for me as a person.

Luke Pepple – Bethel University


It has been a great experience to play for the Aviators. I have had the opportunity to not only grow as a baseball player but also in my faith. It is a rare occurrence when an organization puts their Christian values and faith at its center and for that I’m grateful to be a part of.

Cody Groskreutz – Northwestern College


I had a blast with the Aviators team and being in a Christian environment while playing baseball is exactly what every baseball player needs.

Cale Coshow – 13th Round Draft Pick by New York Yankees/Oklahoma Christian College


Coming to Wichita was one of the best choices I have ever made. I feel that God has led me here so that I can use baseball as a ministry and also to grow in my faith.

Nate Fraley – Dordt University


Never had I imagined playing for a team that combines faith with baseball, and the Aviators are exactly that. I can truly say that I have grown as an individual because of this summer.

Sam Murphy – University of Nebraska Omaha