Eli Johnson prepares for final season entering senior year


Standing at 5’10” and 195 pounds, university baseball player Eli Johnson is entering his final season. Johnson has been on the team for two years coming into the 2020 season.

Before becoming a Lion, Johnson, a senior infielder, spent some of his time playing in Washington.

“I went to junior college up in Washington, and it was just a good fit down here,” said Johnson. “I signed pretty late in the summer, so my roommate, my best friend, was on the team. He signed during the fall. He knew the coaches and we got close, followed him down here, and it worked out great.”

Justin Simanek is a senior pitcher on the university baseball team. He spoke positively about Johnson and the time they’ve spent playing together.

“It’s been good,” stated Simanek. “We’re roommates right now. It’s been smooth sailing. We played two years of junior college together. We know each other really well and became really good friends, best friends. It has just been a great experience being able to have him down here with us.”

Johnson spoke about how he started playing baseball early in his childhood and why he stuck with it.”

“I’ve been playing it since I grew up,” said Johnson. “ I’ve always had fun with it. I had a chance to play after high school with juco, and progress there, and that just opened up down here.”

Although Johnson is a senior, he feels he still has much to accomplish before he graduates.

“I’ve gotten a lot closer with the team, obviously,” explained Johnson. “Last year didn’t end up exactly how I wanted it to, but I wanna have a better year this year and kinda lock in and get after it.

Although Johnson and Simanek are seniors, both have decided to let their actions on the field and their fellow teammates determine the captains of the team. Simanek believes Johnson has leadership caliber to his name.

“I would like to say that, but it’s up to our teammates if they think that we are the leaders, but we just try to come out here do our business, take care of what we need to do and let our actions speak for themselves,” stated Simanek.

Johnson expounded on how he wants to go back to college to get his teaching degree and follow in his parents footsteps.

“I’m graduating with my general studies degree,” commented Johnson. “My parents are both teachers, so I plan on going back to get my master’s in teaching and either teaching math or special education.”

Johnson will start his final season as a Lion on Feb. 8 in the alumni game at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. Their first regular season game will be played on Feb. 14, against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.