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Waubun senior Dustin Spaeth pulled double duty this spring, playing both baseball and golf. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)

Waubun's Spaeth a four-sport gamer

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sports Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Waubun's Spaeth a four-sport gamer
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Playing four sports in a year can be tough on anyone, even a high school student.

Recent Waubun graduate Dustin Spaeth, though, didn't have any qualms about devoting a ton of time to sports.


For a gamer, that's what you'd expect.

"It wasn't easy," Spaeth said.

Dustin's father, Tim -- Waubun's dean of students, plus a coach for football, basketball and baseball -- said his son had the discipline to play four sports and still do well in the classroom.

"It's tough to find a kid who's going to work harder at getting better than Dustin," Tim Spaeth said.

Dustin Spaeth has been known to the Bomber faithful for several years now.

He's been a varsity baseball player since the seventh grade and he's led the team in hitting for the past five years.

Besides those sports, Spaeth led Bombers as their quarterback for the past two seasons, with a touch of playing time under center his sophomore year and starting at defensive back as well.

Plus, he played basketball for a team that had its best year in quite some time, and was the only golfer for the Bombers.

Tim Spaeth said coaching your own son is tough because you're not going to give them as much slack.

"Sometimes I was harder on him than any other kid," Tim Spaeth said. "It was rewarding to see him have the success he had the past couple of years."

Waubun Athletic Director Dave Peterson volunteered as coach to make sure Spaeth could play golf when the program was discontinued after his sophomore year.

"I couldn't imagine doing it," Peterson said of Spaeth's double duty.

During Spaeth's sophomore year, he missed out on state and wanted a second chance.

Pulling double duty

That chance meant Spaeth would have to pull double duty on the diamond and the links.

Many times, Spaeth would come home from baseball practice and head over to the golf course.

"My dad is a pretty big golfer, too, and we would go to the golf course almost every day of the week," Spaeth said.

After golf would come homework and then straight to bed. That cycle repeated itself day after day for the past few months when the golf courses around the area started opening up.

With the swings being so different, there are some who wouldn't want an athlete to play baseball and golf.

For Spaeth, he's able to keep his mind focused on one sport at a time. That goes just beyond mechanics.

"When baseball practice is done and everything is put away, the first question he has is when are we going golfing," Tim Spaeth said.

Dustin said handling both wasn't that difficult, considering the situation.

"It wasn't too bad," Dustin Spaeth said of transitioning back-and-forth from golf to baseball. "The swing part wasn't as easy because of the change in hitting a moving ball from a stationary ball."

He said: "Those two sports come naturally to me. Getting set to play the next game is key for me."

Disappointing end to both seasons

Going into the next game took on new meaning when playoffs and the sectional golf tournament came around.

On May 26, Spaeth golfed in Fergus Falls with an 8 a.m. tee-off time and then had to travel to Ada for Waubun's first-round Class 8A baseball playoff game against Norman County East.

Both sites were disappointments in the end for Spaeth. He ended up shooting an 88 on a windy day, five strokes off pace for a state berth.

The Bombers baseball season ended as well that day with a 7-1 loss to Norman County East.

But Spaeth shrugged off the disappointments.

It didn't seem to matter, because competing is what drives him.

The morning golf meet followed by an afternoon baseball game wasn't new for Spaeth.

"I had to make it to five golf meets to qualify for the sub-section tournament," Spaeth said. "And I had baseball games pretty much on every one of those days."

He never missed a baseball game because of golf, he said.

"He gives it his all in everything he does," Peterson said. "He's competitive and doesn't want to lose"

Choosing to play both sports ended up being a no-brainer.

"Baseball is my favorite sports and I didn't want to miss it," Spaeth said. "On the other hand, I love playing golf."

Hopefully, Spaeth said, he can continue his playing days in college.

"All sports is pretty much my life and is what I like to do," he said.

Planning to attend Bemidji State University in the fall, he hopes to walk on the baseball team.

Whatever happens in the future, Spaeth doesn't seem to be the type of person to quit. He'll be competing on or off the field, court or course.