Medford’s Guden commits to Air Force to continue baseball career

Medford's Guden commits to Air Force to continue baseball career

When Medford High School senior baseball player Caleb Guden announced his commitment Aug. 10 to attend Air Force Academy, the decision was about far more than just athletics or earning a college degree.

“I’ve always wanted to do something different, especially with college, and Air Force was the answer to that,” Guden said. “To not only get your college education, but you go in debt-free and you come out a better person than you were going in. You learn to be a leader, and you get to serve your country.”

Getting the opportunity to serve, as his father Andy Guden and uncle Timothy Guden have before him, was the deciding factor, according to Caleb. Both his uncle and father served in the Army, with Timothy Guden rising to the rank of Command Sergeant Major before his retirement in 2020 after 34 years of military service. Caleb said a conversation with his uncle after an initial recruiting call with Air Force made the choice clear.

He told me it was going to be hard, and it was going to be a long ride, but basically if you go there you’re going to be set for life. It’s going to be the best decision you ever make,” Caleb said. “I went there on a visit, and that was exactly what the coaches told me as well, ‘It’s going be hard, but one day it will pay off in the end if you keep at it.’

Medford baseball coach Justin Hraby said Caleb is hardly one to shy away from that type of challenge, calling his dedication and passion for the game “second to none.”

“He will be a great fit at Air Force. The way he lives his life and the way he approaches the game of baseball fits perfect with their standards and expectations,” Hraby said.

Caleb has been a standout performer on and off the diamond for the Raiders, being recognized on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s all-state third team, as well as on the All-State Academic performer list. He was also named North Central District Division 2 player of the year by the WBCA.

The switch-hitter at the plate has spent time in the infield, outfield and on the mound, but said he likely projects as an outfielder at the collegiate level. In his junior season, he tallied a .446 batting average, three home runs, 34 runs scored and 33 driven in.

Medford fell 7-4 in the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal this spring, but Caleb hopes to make one more run in his final season with the Raiders.

“I just want to finish what we started last year, hopefully get that conference championship, get that regional championship and hopefully get that sectional championship too and make it to state,” he said.

He also wanted to thank his family, friends, coaches and teammates for their support over his 12 years playing baseball.

“I’m really lucky to have the people that I have, and I’m really grateful for them,” Caleb said.

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