The St. Croix Falls Saints had a very special team in 2021. The team ended their season with an overall record of 26-2, with both losses being by just one run. St. Croix Falls was 18-0 in the Heart O’North to claim the conference title. This is the first year that the Saints played in this conference. SCF started their season by winning their first nine games before dropping a non-conference game. St. Croix Falls won their next 17 games, including the Regional championship game. The Saints lost their final game of the year, a 5-4 decision to Eau Claire Regis in the Sectional final. Truly it was a special team.
To have a special team you need special players. St. Croix Falls had special players as seven of them earned a spot on the HON all-conference squad. St. Croix Falls senior Jared Lessman was named the Heart O’North ‘Player of the Year.’
“Jared is a humble young man, and doesn’t look for the attention that has come his way,” St. Croix Falls athletic director Paul Randolph said. “He certainly has earned the recognition he is receiving now. The combination of his talent, and hard work made him one of the best players in our conference and school history. His legacy, along with his teammates, is that St. Croix Falls baseball has been elevated to a much higher level. The bar has been raised for all future teams.”
Lessman was a great two way player for St. Croix Falls, excelling with a bat in his hands or when he was on defense. Defensively Lessman was the ace of the talented SCF pitching staff and also played first base and the outfield.
“I would rather pitch,” Lessman said when asked what his favorite spot was.
Lessman started throwing the ball with his dad when he was only two years old. He fell in love with the sport and his dad continued to nurture his talents for baseball.
“My dad helped me all these years with playing catch with me from when I was younger until this year giving me pitching tips and hitting tips,” Lessman noted.
Obviously the tips from his dad were helpful as Lessman was key cog in the Saints running up the most impressive record in school history. There were many bright spots during the season and Lessman picked out a couple. “The highlights from this season were going undefeated in conference and winning Regionals,” he said.
This fall Lessman will attend Iowa Western in Council Bluffs. He will continue his baseball aspirations as a pitcher.