Combining intellect, athletic ability and genuine heart and passion, baseball is a game that exposes one’s weaknesses and flaws just as readily as it rewards success and hard work. Overcoming mental adversity and playing the game the right way takes a special kind of person. A person such as Jesse Boustead.
Open up the Linfield baseball archives and Jesse is not the first Boustead listed. Brothers Grant (2005) and Jordan (’08) both attended Linfield and competed in baseball, no doubt leaving big shoes to fill for the youngest of the three brothers.
“Originally, I didn’t want to come to Linfield because I grew up being No. 3,” Boustead says. “Later, (the family connection) actually ended up being the main reason I decided to come here. Growing up in a competitive family always drove me to want to do better.”
Ultimately, Boustead’s decision rested on his own observations. He had seen his brothers develop and grow through the program at Linfield, and after seeing how they were treated and the integrity and tradition the baseball program represented, he knew Linfield would provide a perfect fit.
Arriving at Linfield, Boustead quickly realized the path to the top was not etched in stone, discovering he was in for a rollercoaster ride that would test him in every aspect of his life.
“Ultimately, the competitiveness of the program presented me with a challenge,” Boustead says, alluding to the fact that what Linfield had to offer was exactly what he had been conditioned to take on his entire life.
Boustead’s father, Grant Sr., is his biggest role model and taught Jesse a combination of traits that reveal who he is and define the person he has become today.
“My dad set an example of how to compete, what makes a good work ethic, and how to treat others,” he recalls. “Most importantly, he taught me how to be a man of faith, which is why he is truly my hero.”
Wildcats coach Scott Brosius has had the pleasure of coaching all three Boustead sons, saying they come from a “sports oriented, positive family which follows a great competitive tradition.”
After spending two seasons as a member of Linfield’s junior varsity squad, Boustead finally saw his work pay off last season when he cracked the varsity roster as a junior. Simply making the team was an accomplishment in itself, however, in Boustead’s eyes, the journey had just begun.
“To me, being on a baseball team means working together to achieve a common goal. At the end of the day, that goal is to be the number one team in the country.”
According to Brosius, “Jesse is one of our strongest defensive players in the outfield, possessing a strong arm and great speed.” In terms of the type of player he is, “he owns and accepts any role he has, continues to get better and never gives up.”
While Boustead’s contributions on the field have been invaluable to the Wildcats’ program, few people know and appreciate the work he has contributed behind the scenes. “For the past few summers, Jesse has run all the field facilities for tournaments,” says Brosius. “He’s very dependable and accountable and he holds a lot of trust and responsibility.”
Boustead expects to graduate this spring with a degree in marketing. He has hopes of one day becoming the Sports Marketing Director for Nike.
“Being in this program has taught me how to work and how to overcome adversity.”
Boustead is admittedly not the most decorated athlete in Linfield history. Records notwithstanding, the skills he has learned and the growth he has experienced span far beyond what can be contained in the pages of any record book. “Jesse has been extremely valuable to our program,” Brosius says in admiration. “As a coach, you hate to lose a guy like that, and his presence will be greatly missed.”
Having to work hard for everything he has ever earned reflects on how Boustead has grown into the person he is today during the past four years. Playing baseball at Linfield has taught him “if you want something bad enough, you will get it.”
The drive and determination to perform still at an even higher level is omnipresent in the mind of Boustead. It’s reflected in the perseverance and valor he has displayed during his time at Linfield, and is suggestive of the success that undoubtedly lies ahead for him in any walk of life he may pursue.
-- Evan O'Kelly '13