Nick Reichek and Logan Newell know a thing or two about winning.
The recent Grand Valley graduates have been teammates for nearly a decade. They began playing baseball together in fourth grade and brought their talents to the football field not too long after.
Baseball and football are not commonly associated with each other, but Newell and Reichek created at least one connection between GV’s diamond and gridiron — both held plenty of victory celebrations.
The Mustangs football team collected a 26-6 record since the start of Reichek and Newell’s sophomore year, highlighted by an undefeated regular season in 2017.
The baseball team won at least 15 games during each of the past three seasons, including 20 during the duo's sophomore year. As juniors, Newell and Reichek helped lead GV to a Division III district title and a regional championship game appearance.
They will be looking to bring similar success to Cuyahoga Community College next school year, as both will be attending Tri-C for academics and baseball.
“I feel like it was a good fit for the both of us,” Newell said after a recent American Legion summer baseball game.
“It’s a good place to start out,” Reichek added about the two-year college.
Tri-C won the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference regular season title in 2016 and finished in second place each of the next two years. The team finished last season in the NJCAA Region XII Division II Tournament.
“They have a good program there,” Newell said.
Newell, the 2018 county player of the year, received the game ball for GV’s biggest games. He finished the season with a 2.31 ERA, struck out 77 batters in 45.1 innings and limited the opposition to just 29 hits.
From the plate, Newell hit .385 to go along with 27 runs, 23 RBIs, six doubles and two home runs.
An infielder, Reichek batted .368 during his senior season. He scored 24 runs, drove in 17 and smacked four doubles and one home run.
Grand Valley coach Matt Brumit also called on Reichek to pitch every so often and the right-hander collected a 3-0 record with a 4.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 15 innings.
The two experienced quite a bit of individual success on the football field, too. Reichek, a linebacker, earned first-team all-county defensive honors as a junior and was named to the second-team after his senior campaign.
Newell received second-team recognition as a junior and ran his way to a first-team running back slot this past season.
“I was fortunate to not only coach them both for the past four years in football, but really have a great relationship with both of them off the field,” former Mustangs head football coach John Glavickas said. “They are two great kids that have incredible athletic skill sets. They probably would excel in any sport they were serious about, but they both have such a great love playing baseball.
“It is only fitting that they are going away to play together because that’s the way it has always been for them.”
Newell said he went on a visit to Tri-C roughly three months ago and immediately knew he wanted to continue his playing career there. Reichek made his choice independently of Newell, but both acknowledged the latter put some of his own recruiting skills to work.
“He egged me on a little bit,” Reichek said. “We can get an apartment together and it would be nice.”
Reichek said he was recruited as an athlete. His goal for his first collegiate season is to “increase my power and hitting and just start driving the ball a little more.”
Newell said he might hit, but his main focus will be on pitching.
“I definitely want to up my velocity and then work from there,” he said.
Before suiting up for Tri-C next school year, Newell and Reichek are enjoying their summer playing baseball together for the Cowle Post 151 Dugout Bruisers American Legion team.
They will be in action during this weekend’s legion tournament at Jefferson’s Baseball Haven Complex, which kicks off today at 9:15 a.m. The Bruisers first game will be played at 10 a.m.