NEOSHO, Mo. — When Travis Lallemand first started coaching baseball at Crowder College in 2002, his father told him this would be the place he would find himself.
Now, 18 years later, he finds his name forever part of campus at Lallemand Family Field.
Coach Lallemand says, “[The] first time I heard it, I was like, ‘I’m not sure about that.’ After a few times of talking through it and what they really wanted and what they thought of what I’ve done here and more importantly as a program, I was honored.”
The namesake of the field honors not only Lallemand but his family as well, including his wife, Jennifer, who serves as an athletic trainer on campus.
Jennifer Lallemand says, “They’re like my kids. They come to me with injuries, they come to me to cry, when they break up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, or are having a hard time at home, or with studies, they’ll come in and talk to me. I guess that’s why they consider me a mom, which I take great pride in that. “
While players remember the wins and losses, what’s most prevalent in their memories is the culture of Coach Lallemand’s program.
Don Lisi, former Crowder baseball player and coach, says, “I think one thing that usually shows more than anything is once you’ve played here and gone through the system here, you’re successful no matter what you do.”
Jennifer Lallemand says, “I hope hey walk away from this and feel part of a family. I think that’s the most important thing for us. We take them in for a few years. Travis teaches them not only how to play baseball, but how to be men.”
No one knows better than Coach Lallemand: if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a one to mold a family from a baseball program.
Coach Lallemand says, “I didn’t want it to just be that name out there because I didn’t have an at bat and I didn’t throw a pitch here. There’s a lot of people that deserve the credit on the field. We just happen to be the people that are kind of guiding it from the background.”