Plainsmen Profile: Jaylan Ruffin
North Platte Plainsmen
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Before Jaylan Ruffin was playing with the Plainsmen on Bill Wood Field he was playing with a different team. Ruffin, a North Platte native grew up playing American Legion Baseball with the North Platte Nationals, and this summer he’s back in North Platte playing baseball where it all started.
“Honestly, it’s a little different. Different guys. Back with the Nationals, we had a different group. It was fun, but these guys there are all more grown and more mature, bigger, stronger, and they’re hitting the ball farther. I mean the field looks way different from when I left. All the paintings are all gone from off the wall and it’s just banners, so it’s a lot different out here playing now.”
Ruffin plays his college ball at Northeast Junior College in Sterling, Colorado. Originally though, he wasn’t committed to Northeastern Junior College, but to Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa. But, instead of going off to play eight hours away, he opted to stay closer to home in Sterling and still get the opportunity to play collegiate baseball. When he heads back to Sterling in the fall, he hopes that he can return there in the fall as an even better ball player.
“Just this summer it’s just as many at-bats as I can get. I know I play defense pretty well and the biggest thing in college is hitting the ball. I was hitting pretty good and then I just went into a little slump. So, the biggest thing is I just want to hit the ball better,” explains Ruffin.
The North Platte Community welcomes all the Plainsmen with open arms, but seeing one of their own come up to the plate is something special.
“When I come up to bat everybody kinda gets loud for me. It’s because there are a lot of people that come and wanna watch some of these North Platte guys. You know we’ve got guys from everywhere, but ya know everybody likes to come to see us sometimes again because we’ve been gone for a while. It’s just cool ya know. Kelly’s done a good job at getting us in the lineup here and there, so ya know it’s fun,” explains Ruffin.
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