Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


Menominee Indian’s Wayka signs letter of intent

Senior now ready to enjoy last high school season

By Morgan Rode

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Menominee Indian’s Richard Wayka, right, signs his letter of intent to play baseball at Bay College with baseball coach Karl Peters looking on.

As Richard “R.J.” Wayka embarks upon his senior season at Menominee Indian High School, he will do so knowing it won’t be the last time he will play the sport competitively after signing a letter of intent to play baseball at Bay College in Escanaba, Michigan.

Wayka signed in front of family, friends and coaches at Menominee Indian High School on Wednesday.

Wayka said he started his recruitment process late, diving into things at the start of this school year, which he then admitted was a mistake on his part.

The senior created a profile through Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) with the help of his baseball coach Karl Peters and friend Mequan Corn.

Wayka received a few emails back from schools, but after touring Bay College, he knew that’s where he wanted to be.

“I got a really good impression from coach (Mike) Pankow and the whole educational side of things too was kind of fitting for me. I felt more home there so that’s why I chose it.”

Baseball has been Wayka’s favorite sport from a young age, with the senior citing the fact that athletes fail more individually in the sport and that a mental toughness is needed. He also said some of the tough times over his many years in the game are what made him enjoy the sport that much more.

With the letter of intent now signed and a weight off his shoulders, Wayka is hoping to lead the Eagles to success on the diamond this spring. The senior has some lofty goals set.

“I’m shooting for first team all-conference, that’s my goal. I came up a little short last year — I got second (team), just a few votes off (from making the first team),” he said. “I’m hoping to bring more power to my swing this year and prove to everyone that I am a first team athlete.”

The fact that Wayka was named to the second team last spring already shows that the coaches around the conference respect the Menominee Indian standout because the Eagles finished with just one conference win and two wins overall.

Wayka made the second team as a shortstop as a junior and was on the honorable mention team as a sophomore.

He again figures to play shortstop this spring, playing with his teammates and coaches that molded him into the player he is today.

Wayka appreciated how coaches never tried to change his approach to the game, but would rather try and correct little aspects along the way.

The Bay College Norse are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.