The Sun Devil way: Baseball's Rossiter fulfills a lifelong dream
Students come from all over the country, and even the world, to attend Arizona State. Senior baseball catcher Max Rossiter traveled just twenty minutes, from Gilbert's Highland High School to become a Sun Devil student-athlete and with lots of local support, graduated this May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business (Public Service and Public Policy).
"I'm a local guy, and especially in the East Valley, you grow up as a Sun Devil fan," Rossiter said. "A lot of guys like to go somewhere else for a change of scenery but when it comes down to it, I'm glad I stayed close to home. I wouldn't trade it for anything and I'm proud to be able to call myself an ASU alum."
Rossiter is one of five current Sun Devil baseball student-athletes to earn a degree this spring and is the ninth Sun Devil baseball student-athlete to graduate in the 2012-13 school year. The list includes 2013 teammates Alex Blackford, Matt Dunbar, Zak Millerand Billy Young, as well as former players Deven Marrero (2010-12), Chris Bando (1975-78), Austin Barnes (2009-11) and Colin Curtis (2004-06).
Head baseball coach Tim Esmay says the coaching staff and administration at Arizona State prides itself on not only preparing student-athletes for the professional ranks, but on giving them the tools they need to prosper after their playing days are over.
"A big part of Living the Sun Devil Way is earning that degree and setting yourself up for a successful life that isn't contingent on a career in the Major Leagues," coach Esmay says. "And Max embodies that and is a great example for both his teammates and future Devils."
After leading Highland High School in Gilbert to a Region Title in both his junior and senior years, Rossiter had a two-year stint at Central Arizona Community College before landing in Tempe.
"I had great teammates at both Highland and Central Arizona," Rossiter said. "I contribute a lot of my success to the path I've taken to get here."
However, he credits his time at ASU as shaping him into the person he is today.
"I've grown so much here and I think that's what they are known for: developing young men both on and off the field," Rossiter said. "The Sun Devils...it's a unique breed of person. You can tell a Sun Devil by the way they carry themselves, whether it's playing baseball or working a regular job."
With ASU alumni in the family and Sun Devil pride in his blood, his parents can be spotted in the stands at just about every game and Rossiter says being able to stay close to his family has helped him through times of struggle.
"I get a lot of support from friends and family because I'm a local guy," Rossiter says. "When I'm feeling low or have a bad game, they're always there for me. There are a lot of ups and downs in the season, especially when you're juggling school and playing, so it's been great to have someone around I can always go to."
When it's time to turn in his ASU jersey at the end of this season, Rossiter will be prepared for whatever is in store for him.
"It's bittersweet," Rossiter says. "I've had a great college career and I've enjoyed being a Sun Devil. It's sad to think this is my last season, but I'm eager for what's ahead."
Rossiter has the talent to make a living in playing baseball, but he also understands the odds are against him and knows that his degree will benefit him, whether it is five, 10 or 15 years down the road.
"After the draft in June and after my college season is over, I'm going to sign and play pro ball as long as it will allow me to," Rossiter says. "Hopefully I have a long career, but like everything in life, you have to be prepared in case things don't go as planned."