Playing two sports made for an enjoyable first post-secondary year for Pipestone’s Billy Patmore.
The son of Robin and Linda headed to Dakota College at Bottineau (N.D.) to study agriculture management and technology and to play baseball. With the school’s men’s hockey team needing a goalie, Patmore donned the pads and joined partway through the season.
“I really enjoyed this past school year, for many reasons,” he said. “The competition and passion levels that my fellow teammates brought was second to none. It was fun getting adjusted to this style of sports, where kids come in playing year round. The experiences that came with both hockey and baseball were better than I ever could have imagined, between trips to Denver, all over Montana and St. Louis was something I couldn’t have asked for. Being able to see plenty of country and teams from all over the states was a real eye opener, that there is some real talent no matter where you go.”
Lumberjacks hockey head coach Travis Rybchinski was pleased with how Patmore stepped in for the team. In the regular season, the netminder had a 1.50 goals against average. In the spring, on the baseball diamond, Patmore caught and played first base.
“He is a great teammate around the guys, fun to be around,” DCB head baseball coach Mark LaCroix. “He battled at the plate every time for us and put together solid at bats every time.”
Patmore, who had a strong summer playing for the senior Reston Rockets baseball team, also enjoyed his time in the classroom at Bottineau. In his two-year program, you can choose your focus – whether it be livestock, grain, etc. Patmore had to manage his time to balance two sports and his studies.
“It was tough getting used to the busy schedule, practice, class, then more practice after in a day,” he said. “There was a good balance which was helped by teachers making arrangements if your team was going to be gone for the weekend. You never felt as though you were playing catch up. Hockey season rolled straight into baseball season, with no time for relaxing. It was a super competitive and intense year filled with sports and good memories.”
Patmore said his family have been crucial in his development from when he started playing sports until now.
Of the support of his parents, he said, “Between running me all over for practice, games, to go get new equipment - It all was so important. And looking back at all they have done for me, I am so thankful.
“Growing up on a family farm was something I will always be appreciative of, learning hard work and responsibilities at a very young age. My brother John has worked with me for years, playing catch, hitting ground balls, going into the cage in Reston. Going into the rink and doing some extra skating. My sister Erickka has always been by my side since day one. If I ever needed anything, she was the one. Always willing and able to help me. All of these people in my life have got me to where I am today.”