Flashback Friday Stefan McGovern – 2011 Rochester Honker

Stefan McGovern – Metro State College
2011 Rochester Honkers
Photo of Stefan as the Head Coach for West Hills College

What’s your favorite memory while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
SM: Seeing Division I athletes struggle and have to work hard to get better every day, just like every other level I’ve coached at, was very humbling. Jake Kirth’s walkoff single to secure the first win of the year in 2011 was a long time coming. And watching pitching coach Peter Burg try and throw BP and get very flustered!

What’s your favorite non-playing memory from your time with the Rochester Honkers?
SM: Just living life on the road, like a professional manager would every day. Knowing that no matter how good or bad you played that day, tomorrow was a new day and you had to let it go to be successful. Getting the weekly omelets from the apartment chef we had at the coach’s home. Also, hanging with my boys from Brainerd, Woody and Brownie at Shep’s and playing bags for the first time.

Who was your favorite teammate when you played for the Rochester Honkers and why?
SM: 2011 was a mixed group of players, all from great programs. I think the most professional was Anthony Hutting, while the best teammate was Aaron Siefken. The biggest space cadet was Davey Wright, while the best clutch performer had to be Johnny Coy.

What has happened to you since you left Rochester and what are you doing now?
SM: Since I left Rochester, I have been the head coach at two programs, first at 4 year NAIA school Menlo College in Atherton, CA. After staying there two years, I took a head job at West Hills College, a junior college near Fresno, CA. I got married a year after I left the Honkers and my wife and I have a one year old daughter.

What was your biggest realization while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
SM: That it’s really easy for a player to say they want to play professional baseball, but it’s another thing entirely to see if they can handle the GRIND, and that’s why the Northwood’s League is the best preparation for pro ball. If you can’t handle living on the road out of a suitcase with no days off, then professional baseball is not for you. But the fact that the Northwood’s League gives players the opportunity to see if they can handle it is awesome! There is no other league that comes close to the grind of professional baseball.

Do you stay in contact with former teammates? If so, who?
SM: I have remained in contact with Litz over the years, as I have sent him a few players, and I have also shared texts with some of the players from the 2011 team wishing them luck. I have also kept in contact with many of the other coaches from around the league including Hershey, Orchard, Brownie, Woody, and Espitia.