by Cori Hilsgen
St. Cloud Rox baseball players recently visited the KIDSTOP program at Kennedy Community School.
Players Austin Caspersen, Mitchell Kranson and Reese Gregory, along with assistant coach Phil Imholte, played a game of kickball with the children and staff, answered questions, shared snack time and signed autographs.
Gregory is a pitcher who grew up in the St. Cloud area, graduated from Apollo High School and attends St. Cloud State University. Imholte also grew up in the St. Cloud area, graduated from Cathedral High School and played for SCSU and the Rox before becoming a coach. Caspersen is a pitcher who attends Doane College in Nebraska, and Kranson is an infielder who attends the University of California in Berkeley.
“Our morning with KIDSTOP was a great one,” Imholte said. “After getting to know the kids and staff, it’s easy to see why their program is so highly regarded.”
“The kids absolutely loved that the Rox players came and hung out with them,” KIDSTOP staff member Alissa Lawler said. “They will be talking about this and how they ‘beat’ the Rox at kickball for a very long time.”
“As an organization, we understand the importance of staying involved in the community,” Rox community-relations director Jake Brown said. “We truly enjoy coming out to locations like this to spend time and play games with the kids. The guys really like to be role models for our younger fans to look up to.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota KIDSTOP program is a care program for children from kindergarten to sixth grade. It’s located at 14 schools in the St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Sartell-St. Stephen and Rocori school districts. The program provides before- and after-school care as well as care during school holidays and during the summer.
The St. Cloud Rox are a professional minor league baseball team in the Northwoods League. They play their homes games at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
St. Cloud Rox players (left to right) Mitchell Kranson, Austin Caspersen and Reese Gregory sign autographs for children at Kennedy KIDSTOP during a recent visit.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.