Cardinal Alum Drey Dirksen Signs With Stingers
Willmar, Minn. – It will be a homecoming for one Willmar Stingers player next summer as Drey Dirksen begins a new chapter in his baseball career playing for his hometown Northwoods League team.
Dirksen, a former 2019 three-sport athlete at Willmar High School had some decisions of what sport would be play in college, but ultimately, he selected his first love…baseball, and now it’s landed him a contract with the Stingers.
Currently a freshman catcher/pitcher at Augustana University, Dirksen will be the fourth player from the highly touted Division II program to join the Stingers. Other players who have played in Willmar are Dirksen’s college teammates Sam Baier, Riley Johnson and Evan Furst, who all played last summer.
Dirksen is the second graduate of Willmar High School to play for the Stingers in the team’s history. Fellow Cardinal Jordan Smith played for the Stingers in the organization’s inaugural season and went on to have great career with the Cleveland Indians organization.
He was only 9 years old when Smith played for the Stingers but remembers going to Stingers games as a young kid and watching Jordan.
“Playing for the Willmar Cardinals were some of the best moments of my life. I made friends that will last a lifetime,” said Drey Dirksen. “Growing up in Willmar I was able to watch Jordan Smith play for the Stingers and, because he is from Willmar, I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I never thought I would be able to have the same opportunity as he did. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to play for the Stingers.”
One of the most talented high school catchers in the state of Minnesota, Dirksen played three years of varsity baseball prior to making his way to Augustana University. Dirksen had a career batting average of .308 with 36 hits, 18 runs scored and 18 RBIs playing for the Cardinals. A leader both on and off the field, he was named 1st team All-Conference and 1st team All-Area during his junior season. As a sophomore, Dirksen had a career best .348 average and four doubles throughout the team’s 15 games.
“Drey is a long and lean three-sport athlete. He will be a very physical catcher for us,” said Tim Huber, Head Baseball Coach for the Augustana Vikings. “His catch and throw skills are already very good and are what stood out for me. Drey shows the ability to make adjustments and it will be his defensive ability that will give him a chance to get on the field early for us.”
A native of Spicer, Dirksen was a nine-time letter winner and three-sport captain for the Willmar Cardinals’ baseball, football and basketball teams throughout his high school career. Dirksen amassed a variety of awards and recognitions as well, including being a four-time All-Central Lakes Conference selection or conference Honorable Mention and was named North Central All-District twice. Given to both the top boy & girl senior athlete, Dirksen was the recipient of the 2019 Lions Award for his achievements in a Cardinal uniform.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with Coach Huber and the Vikings Baseball program,” Stingers Co-Owner Ryan Voz said. “We are thrilled to have another player with ties to Willmar be able to play in front of the fans at Bill Taunton Stadium.”
If you would like more information on tickets for the 2020 season, or more information regarding this press release, please contact the Willmar Stingers front office at 320-222-2010 or visit www.willmarstingers.com.
The 2020 Stingers season is presented by J.D. Kreps Financial Group, empowering investors with powerful financial advice.