Nixon continues Plymouth North-South baseball tradition

Plymouth's Benji Nixon had the chance to fly the W flag one last time for the Pilgrims when they defeated Northridge in his final home game.
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

The 45th Annual North-South baseball all star series will have more than a little local flavor as the game will be played at Four Winds Field and will feature Plymouth's Benji Nixon, the Culver Academy's Hayden Schott and Glenn's Robbie Berger as members of the North Squad.
The teams will report to Four Winds Field on Friday for a workout and banquet and then play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single wood bat game on Sunday.
Nixon has seen his share of accolades come his way since the end of the baseball season being named to the North All Star squad and also garnering honorable mention on the 4A Indiana All State team at shortstop, finishing behind state champion Fishers High School shortstop Craig Yoho. He was also named co-winner of the male half of the Kizer Award, Plymouth High School's scholarship for outstanding senior athlete along with Nate LaFree.
"Being on the team (North All Stars) is really big but I have to say the game we played against Northridge to win the NLC was just as big a thrill to me," said Nixon. "It's definitely a great honor and to be rewarded for 18 years of playing hard it's really special."
Nixon's coach Ryan Wolfe was himself a member of the North squad in 2001 and knows how tough it is to be an all star.
"I'm on the committee for the first time this year and there are some really good ball players in our district, this is a tough team to make," he said. "Making this team is a very special thing."
"Every coach has players that he's always going to remember because they are special for one reason or another and I've been fortunate to have a number of those and Benji is one of them," said Wolfe. "We've had a lot of deserving players here just in my time but I can't think of a lot of players I've coached that were the total package - coachable, talented, works hard every day, just a great kid - Benji fits that to a 'T'."
Nixon's grandfather Bill Nixon coached the North squad twice and is a member of the Indiana High School Baseball Hall of Fame. Benji's sponsor for the game - John Oliver of U.S. Granules in Plymouth - is a himself member of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. The tradition is a fact not lost on either Wolfe or Nixon.
"One thing you know here is the tradition of Plymouth baseball and how much Bill has to do with that," said Wolfe. "What John has done for baseball all over the state and really what he's done for not just baseball but the entire city of Plymouth is incredible. It's great that Bill's grandson can carry that on. And playing just up the road in South Bend. It's going to be a pretty special weekend."
"Getting my picture up on the wall (The PHS Athletic Wall of Fame) is really pretty cool too," said Benji. "Grandpa's (Bill Nixon) picture is up there a couple times, and some Aunts and Uncles and some of my friends and now I get one that's really cool."
"I'm going to remember both the games we played with Northridge - when I was a sophomore and a senior - to win the conference," said Benji. "And of course every day with Coach (Bob) Caban was an adventure."
Benji will pursue a business degree at Indiana University in the fall, and maybe other things down the road.
"I'm not sure I might get kicked out of the family if I didn't pursue coaching," he said. "I probably will try to get on a staff somewhere if somebody will have me. I really don't care what sport."

Category: