Flashback Friday – Luke Reiland 2005 Rochester Honker

Jacob Colwell, a senior at Saint Mary's University (Winona, MN) studying Sports Management, has taken on the challenge of contacting many former Rochester Honkers players and coaches. He wanted to see what they are doing now and some of their favorite memories of playing in Rochester. Below you will enjoy his discoveries as we present……Flashback Fridays!    

Luke Reiland – Campbell University (NC)
2005 Rochester Honkers
Photo of Wife Abi, Stepson Gage, Daughter Oakly, and Luke

What’s your favorite memory while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
LR: My favorite memory while playing for the Honkers had to be; just the entire experience.  From day 1 the entire summer was one I will never forget.  If I did get up before noon on the day of a home game, then i went to the RAC (Rochester Athletic Facility) and sat by the pool for a couple hours.  If I didnt get up before noon, then I just hung out at home for a while and slowly made my way to the field for 2pm batting practice.  This was the most laid back, enjoyable summer I can remember. 

What's your favorite non playing memory from your time with the Rochester Honkers (Host Family, Experience, Bus Ride, etc.)
LR: My favorite non baseball memory of that summer was no question my host family.  I had the luxury of having my best friend Brett Jensen play in Rochester the summer of 2004, so he hooked my up with his host family; The Bigler Family!  Hands down the most amazing, kind, inviting, fun, accepting family I have ever met.  Jeff, Marnie and the kids were so much fun to be around the entire summer.  Most mornings I was awoke to the kids screaming and jumping on my bed in a frantic attempt to get me out of bed.  Of course, most mornings, this was around 11am-12pm, so it was time for me to get up anyway.  I believe that my experience in Rochester that summer would not have been even close to as enjoyable as it was without the Biglers.  I still stay in contact with them often and visit them as often as my busy schedule allows.

Who was your favorite teammate when you played for the Rochester Honkers and why?
LR: This might be a cop out, but my favorite teammate had to be my high school best friend Brett Jensen.  We played high school ball together at Eagle Grove High School in Iowa for 4 years and then 1 year together at Iowa Central Community College.  It was pretty sweet to be reunited with him for a summer of baseball for one last go around.  He also lived with the Biglers, so it made for a pretty special summer. 

What has happened to you since you left Rochester and what are you doing now?
LR: Alot has happened in the last 8-9 years….Wow, its weird to think its already been that long.  The year after Rochester, I went back down to Campbell University in North Carolina and finished my final year of Baseball.  I then moved back to Iowa where I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa.  From there I joined the workforce and started selling fitness equipment.  I have been in the fitness industry since, now with my 2nd company and selling it commercially in the Des Moines, Iowa area.  In 2013, I got married, had a little baby girl (Oakly), built and purchased a house, and started a business!  My wife and I own Crossfit 8035 in downtown Des Moines.  Needless to say the last 12 months have been a wild ride.  Id like to say that things have started to slow down, but that would be a fallacy.  With a now 6 month old, 5 year old step son, a full time job, and a business to run, things wont slow down for a long time!…..Just the way I like it!

What was your biggest realization while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
The biggest realization I think I had during this whole experience probably came after I was done playing baseball.  I think I took that summer for granted a little bit.  I didn’t realize how good I really had it that summer.  Looking back, if I had 1 place to go back and relive, that 4 months in Rochester would certainly be at the top of my list.  Not a worry in the world (other than my 0 for 4 performance the night before). 

Do you still stay in contact with former teammates? If so who?
LR: With all of the social media now, its rather easy to stay in contact with a lot of guys.  Of course I stay in contact with Brett (Jensen), but also Matt Marek (who I played 4 years of college ball with), occasionally the "Rochester Mayor" Dan Lyons.  There were a few guys that played with Rochester that I played Junior college ball with at Iowa Central that I check in on once in a while. (Tim Flattery, Eric Hoffman).