Reynolds represents Le Moyne through team effort

Allison Case '14, Sports Editor

Senior Nate Reynolds has played baseball since the ripe age of three. He’s got the skill, the talent and the determination needed to be a star on the Le Moyne baseball team. Despite all these talents, it is his off-field contributions to fellow teammate and friend, Pat Wiese, that have proven him to be more than just another star, but a team player. I caught up with Reynolds to chat about the “Pray for Pat” celebration and his dedication to helping out his teammates.


1.      How did you come up with the idea to organize the “Pray for Pat” celebration at the basketball game?

The ideas started coming the night that [Pat Wiese] was diagnosed but it was hard to discern what would be most practical. After talking with fellow senior Mike Martin, I came up with an initial design and we decided the next day to see how much it would be to do shirts. Pat’s close friend, John Sheedy, suggested that we also do bracelets that said, “Dare to be Great.” Pat once said that it was the best advice he ever received from his dad and he used to write that on his athletic shoes in high school. After seeing how Pat has responded, it was obvious before that Pat was a great athlete but now I think everyone sees how great of a person he is as well.

2.      Was there an inspiration for the celebration idea you had?

The idea for the basketball game came from my personal experience with my mom being diagnosed with Leukemia. I remember how the initial support was overwhelming but eventually that constant 24/7 support began to fade as people returned to their normal routines. Being Pat’s teammate and through all his previous injuries, I knew Pat could put up a façade. Regardless of the fact that he appeared as a stone wall, I recalled my own experiences with my mom. I knew that even if he did not tell me, negative thoughts were bound to creep in. It was then that I decided that I wanted to do something big, something to rejuvenate the fight in him when he was probably feeling a bit vulnerable and down. I thought if we could put fill an entire gymnasium wearing these “Pray for Pat” shirts, it would show him that our support did not waver and most importantly that he has inspired us.


3.      How did you pull this surprise off?

From the start, I knew this was going to be an overwhelming task so I knew I had to ask for help. It is amazing how one idea can cause a chain reaction; it seemed like once people found out, everyone wanted to help. First, we talked to Jeanne Murphy and Kevin McNeil in the Athletic Department about the possibility of doing these shirts and how we could possibly go about it. We decided that it would be better to wait until the dust settled and we knew more details about his cancer. It was a week or two after the diagnosis that we approached Mrs. Wiese about the shirts and bracelets. Just by seeing her reaction, it was obvious that this really meant a lot. We talked about the possibility of starting a foundation in his honor, because it was important to show that Le Moyne not only cared about him right now but also about his future.


4.      Who helped you throughout this process?

When we found out that during Pat’s first two weeks of chemo, he would not be on campus, it provided us the perfect window of opportunity to pull this off. Korleen Brady, Kelly Janis,, Adam Breuer, Andrea Mangione and a few teammates rotated shifts selling shirts outside the café and went around selling shirts at the Heights and Townhouses. I contacted a point person on each athletic team to sell the shirts to their teams so thanks to Ryan Romich, Maddie McKnight, Mitch Hillegas, Cam Fedish, Tori Nies, Laura Hoffman, Mike Martin, Jen Fabian, Yaro Nieves, Sarah Harrison, Maggie Reagen, Jess Geary, and Tim Taylor for helping. I also contacted Dr. Ward, who sold shirts to the faculty and Greg Mellor from Campus Ministry, who helped sell shirts at mass. Kathleen Towner did a tremendous job selling shirts in the Rec Center and helped us organize all the shirts when we had to distribute them. If people are looking to still buy a shirt, once the Pat Wiese Foundation website is up and running, the shirts can be purchased there. Thanks to everyone who made this vision possible, it took a lot of hard work and dedication.


5.      Ever since hearing about Pat, what is the dynamic like on the team?

Initially the news was devastating but after seeing how Pat handled it, he has become an inspiration. I hope our team will learn that when faced with adversity, we step up to the challenge like Pat. I think our team is inspired and is on a mission, and this has brought us a lot closer as team. I think we are all playing with a chip on our shoulder knowing how blessed we are to be able to play this game. Not one of us is going to replace Pat but if collectively as a team we all try to pick up the slack, we might be able to make up some of that lost production. But it’s impossible to replace a person like Pat on the field and it’s even harder in the locker room. Pat may not be able to play again but we want to honor him by playing like he did, fearless and resilient.


6.      How are you planning to step up this year for the Le Moyne team as the only senior?

I don’t view myself as the only senior, Pat may not be present at every practice or every game but he still has a significant impact. Any time he speaks or has any advice to give, people just listen. But I plan to step up as a leader, I may not be the most vocal but I think my actions speak louder than word. Sometimes choosing when to speak is just as important as knowing what to say. Being youthful, I think it is important to help shorten the learning curve for the younger guys. It is a long season full of highs and lows and its critical for them to learn how to play through the mental and physical fatigue. In the beginning of the fall we played young but at the end we really started to click and play well so that really excites me.


7.      What do you personally look forward to as the season approaches?

I think my favorite part about this team is that we have the potential to be really successful despite our youth. After seeing the Red Sox bounce back after the marathon bombing, I hope we can fight for Pat in a similar way. I think other teams will take us lightly since we lost a lot of starters from last year to graduation but I am hoping the loss of Pat motivates us to prove our doubters wrong. We may be younger but I do not think it means we are any less talented. I think we will thrive in that underdog role. Lastly, I cannot wait for another stellar year of support from the HILLCREW. Hopefully this season brings us another Hillcrew legend such as Dan Marsh or Caleb Gleason.