Tournaments | Story | 6/30/2020

Matthew Ossenfort: The Ultimate Leader

Brett Greenberg        
Photo: Matthew Ossenfort (Perfect Game)
MARIETTA, Ga. – Every team needs a leader. Someone who is always taking charge vocally who the other players listen to. For Resmondo FTB, that leader is Matthew Ossenfort. He is a class of 2023 two-way player with a large frame, already 6-3 weighing 200 pounds at only 16 years old. With that frame, it is no surprise that he is the number one ranked first baseman in South Dakota and ranked in the top forty for his class in the U.S.

Resmondo FTB is based out of Winter Haven, Florida, so Ossenfort is a long way from home. When asked what brought him to FTB, he said he wanted to prove he could perform in the Southeast, a region known for their top tier amateur baseball. 

“Pride is a big part of who I am,” said Ossenfort. “I am from South Dakota and came down here to show everyone that a kid from the north can compete with the talent in the south.”

Ossenfort prides himself on being a good teammate and being someone who is known for helping the team. It is his selfless attitude that made it possible for a player from across the country to be an integral part of his team’s success in the 15U WWBA. 

Ossenfort is a rising sophomore and should be looking forward to his second year of high school ball this coming fall, but like others, he was not able to compete in this high school season due to the coronavirus pandemic. When asked about his athletic experience during the quarantine, Ossenfort said he was able to convert his basement into a home gym, allowing him to lift weights daily. Ossenfort was also able to find a nearby field and work on all aspects of his game there, including pitching. 

“My basement is my favorite gym now,” said Ossenfort. “Besides the gym, my dad and I found a field in Sioux Falls where I was able to work on my defense and throw some bullpen.” 

This summer, Ossenfort is prioritizing two things in particular to improve upon. On the field, he wants to get his velocity up a few miles per hour. He is currently sitting at around 88 mph but wants to increase his velocity into the 90s. Off the field, Ossenfort continues to work on his leadership skills, something he takes very seriously. When watching Resmondo FTB, Ossenfort’s voice is typically the loudest voice on the field making sure his teammates are in the right position to make a play. Ossenfort says he likes to know what each position player is going to do with the ball before the ball is hit, depending on the situation. 

“Man, being a team player is huge for me,” said Ossenfort. “I think having skills other than athletics can help me be successful on the field and for my future.” 

The big lefty’s recruitment started last year says Ossenfort. He is currently speaking with several D-1 schools including programs in the SEC and ACC. He says he knows he has time and will take all the time he needs before making this big decision. Ossenfort prioritizes playing time and comfortability in his decision making. As far as his position, he says he wants to go somewhere that will allow him to pitch and play first base, while also hitting. 

“The decision is especially big for me,” said Ossenfort. “I know wherever I go to play ball, is going to be a long way from home, so I want to do my diligence in choosing a college that best fits my needs.”

As previously mentioned, Ossenfort is one of the bigger players on the field during the summer and says he has always been. He knows what his job is as the biggest guy on the team and takes on the responsibility of being the vocal leader and coming up with the clutch hits when his team needs them. 

When Ossenfort is not playing baseball, he plays pick-up basketball with his friends. He looks for the advantage in whatever he is doing. He plays basketball because it keeps him in shape and allows him to continue working on his hand-eye coordination as well as overall athleticism. 

He offers a piece of advice to those younger than him to always keep a good attitude because there are ups and downs. Ossenfort also says he has a checklist with several little goals on it that he checks off after reaching each goal. 

“Make little goals for yourself that are manageable,” said Ossenfort. “Those little goals getting checked off will lead you to checking off bigger goals.”

Ossenfort and the rest of Resmondo FTB are currently 4-0 in pool play with one more game before heading to bracket play. Resmondo FTB will be wrapping up pool play Tuesday, June 30th. Bracket play of the 2020 15U WWBA National Championship begins Wednesday, July 1st and will conclude with the championship game being played Friday, July 3rd at 10:15 a.m. here at the East Cobb Complex in Marietta, Georgia. 
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