Nolan Drill picks Upper Iowa for baseball
NEW ULM — In the end, New Ulm High School senior Nolan Drill just wanted to play Division II baseball.
Drill decided that Upper Iowa University, a Division II school in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, was the right fit for him.
“The final factor was the atmosphere on my visit,” Drill said. “They really made it feel like I was at home there and they had a lot to offer for what I’m going to school for in the marketing field. They’ve had academic success and that helped because academics come first.”
Drill said that Upper Iowa began contacting him this past fall after his New Ulm Legion Gold season wrapped up. The Peacocks played only 14 games this past spring (1-13) before the season was canceled.
“They said they saw me play a little bit and I didn’t really know a lot about the school so I did my own research,” Drill said. “I looked into it and I decided to follow up with them and I did that and I went on my visit and ever since that it sat different in my heart.”
Drill would’ve played his third season at New Ulm High School this past year had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-sport athlete had a .414 batting average in 2019, with 10 doubles, 17 runs, and 23 RBIs. He also threw 30 innings for the Eagles sporting a 2.60 ERA while striking out 17.
He finished his hockey career with nine goals and 15 assists and he excelled in defensive situations and penalty killing. In football, Drill was a captain and played quarterback, defensive back and linebacker for the Eagles. He rushed for more than 100 yards in a game two different times his senior year.
Drill said that he wanted to play college football in his younger years.
“As I got older, my seventh and eighth grade year, I’ve always had success in baseball but I started having more,” Drill said. “I just had more love for the game and it grew on me. Football, I still want to [play in college], but as of now, it’s just going to be baseball unless I’d want to walk on for football.”
He said he was offered a chance to play both baseball and football at Division III Gustavus Adolphus College, but he opted to concentrate on baseball because he didn’t want to risk long-term injury. He also looked at Bethel University and Dakota County Technical College for baseball and he spoke to a couple other schools in the NSIC and a couple others in Division III.
Normally at this time of year, Drill would be in the playoffs for New Ulm High School and getting ready for the American Legion season. Instead, he’s working out at home getting ready for the fall baseball season at Upper Iowa. He thinks he’ll maybe play first base and third base and possibly second base for the Peacocks.
“I’ve been doing a lot of running and working on footwork and speed work, because that’s always a goal of mine is to be faster,” Drill said. “I’ve been going down to North Park and they just put up the tunnels and I’ve been hitting every day, wether it’s tee work or flips, just staying on with my hand-eye coordination and just staying ready for the fall.”