Young coach Rheault looks to lead West Fargo Patriots for years to come
Only a few years removed from high school, first-year head coach Jordan Rheault hopes to sustain success with the West Fargo Patriots American Legion baseball team for years to come.
The West Fargo High School graduate was hired after Chris Coste stepped down after one year as the Patriots head coach to be an assistant coach for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Rheault won a Class A state championship with the Packers and legion title with the Patriots in 2012.
"It's a very good feeling," Rheault said about becoming the head coach of his former legion team. "It's certainly something I always kind of wanted after my playing career got over with."
He's been an assistant coach for the Packers for four years and was a volunteer coach for West Fargo Sheyenne this year. He was also the West Fargo Aces co-head coach for two years.
Rheault said he's implemented certain aspects he learned from other programs, such as philosophies and pitching, hitting and fielding mechanics to help him in his first season at the helm.
"It's collecting all the ideas and putting it in one basket in order for me to be the best version of myself as far as running this program," Rheault said.
He said the Patriots got off to a slow start at the beginning of the season, partly due to injuries. West Fargo's momentum swung June 21-25 at the Battle for Omaha tournament.
The Patriots finished in second place, posting a 6-1 record. They played two games Saturday at the Fargo-Moorhead Invitational looking to continue that success.
Rheault said the Omaha games helped his team's offense come alive, but still wants to see improvements in other areas.
"We really found it with our sticks on that trip," Rheault said. "It's kind of carried to these last three games. ... But all throughout there are certainly some things we want to do a little better, team defense being one of them."
Patriots left fielder/pitcher and recent West Fargo graduate Tristen Roehrich said Rheault is emphasizing communication on defense. He said everyone is prepared by knowing what they're doing before the pitch is thrown.
Having a young head coach that understands his players is fun for Roehrich.
"He's got a lot of energy," Roehrich said. "He's one of the boys, so I mean it's just fun because he knows what we like to do and he's just one of us."
Rheault is a teacher at Cheney Middle School and said that a teaching career has enabled him to be a head coach. One of the lessons for his team, according to Roehrich, is for each individual to know themselves.
"(He taught us) that you are your own best coach so you know what's best for you and what you need to do to get better for yourself," Roehrich said.
Rheault wants to build not only a good team, but a good program as a whole by making sure his players are not only getting better, but having fun.
No one has expressed skepticism in his ability to be West Fargo's head coach just a few years removed from high school, Rheault said.
He wants to continue helping his team and the program grow for the foreseeable future.
"I certainly hope I can be here as long as possible," Rheault said. "One of my philosophies towards the players is when you're ready to take the jersey off, make sure you're ready and never let anyone else take the jersey off of you. And that's certainly something that I think of as well."