Prep baseball

South Central's Snyder brothers share in the Satellites' success

2014-06-05T18:30:00Z 2014-06-06T14:13:08Z South Central's Snyder brothers share in the Satellites' successJim Peters james.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com

The last time RJ and JT Snyder shared the same baseball field, the bat wasn't much shorter than 3-year-old RJ, who was allowed to play up with his 6-year-old brother on a Hanna Little League T-Ball team, coached by their dad, Eric.

It's been 12 years since then. RJ is now a freshman and JT a senior at South Central, where the Snyder boys are together again, helping the Satellites to a Class A sectional title.

"It's been really fun," said RJ, a left fielder and catcher. "I'll always remember the year playing with my brother. It'll be the first thing that comes to mind."

JT is a three-year starter who was a part of S.C.'s sectional run in 2012. He can't assimilate freshman seasons with RJ, having transferred to LaCrosse and getting only limited eligibility when he was in ninth grade, but he appreciates being able to share this year's success.

"I'd rather be the person showing RJ what high school's like," JT said. "We have really good senior leaders. It'll help him when he's older."

Ryan Kruszka, in his second year as coach, had heard of Eric's background at the school as a player and his reputation in the south LaPorte County area as a coach, but he wasn't pulling RJ up as a feel good story. The freshman started out on junior varsity, showed well and when the chance came along, he took advantage of it.

"You can tell they're a coach's sons," Kruszka said. "They're doers. They pick things up well. They make adjustments. You don't have to tell them many times."

Kruszka would know. His dad was a coach and teacher for 35 years. Sometimes, dad is the coach. Sometimes, dad is the dad, and someone else is coach. Both Snyders were coached extensively by their dad, who led LaCrosse to a sectional title in 2002, and still coaches RJ's Babe Ruth team.

"It's like I have my pitching coach here, and I go home to get my hitting instruction," JT said. "Everyone tells me my dad was really good. I go to a game, and the coach knew him, so he knows me. When I come up to bat, he says, 'Good hitter.' It's like, 'Oh, you're the (former) LaCrosse coach's son, you must be pretty good.' It's pretty much expected."

It's even tougher for RJ as the younger brother.

"There was a little extra pressure coming up, to follow in JT's footsteps and just having the Snyder name," RJ said. "It feels like I have to do that much better. You have to live up to expectations, but the bar's already been set. I've always been taught, don't think. It's all in you, just let it flow. It'll come."

When it doesn't, JT's been there to ease the burden.

"He'll come in, and I'll know he's angry," JT said. "He'll try to do so good, he feels like he let the team down. It's my job to help him have the sense of composure I have. At the beginning, he was doing what I used to do. I tell him just to stay calm and let it happen. When he does, he's a really good player. We've got a lot of really good freshmen, including RJ, and I needed to be more of a role model."

JT is listed as a pitcher-first baseman, but can play most anywhere. He is hitting .429 with 24 RBIs and 28 runs. RJ is batting .362 with 10 RBIs and 18 runs.

"I come from the same kind of family," Kruszka said. "It's pretty cool whenever you have that family atmosphere, to sit back and watch, to see them pick at each other. When they're working individually in the cage, JT will see stuff, pull RJ aside and be the big brother. That's priceless information, one brother to the next, generation to generation."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News