D-G-F's Oberg, Irwin make sixth and final trip to a state tournament as Rebels
There are 20 varsity seasons between Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton seniors Andy Oberg and Taylor Irwin. The D-G-F co-op has been to state 11 times between baseball, basketball and football. Oberg and Irwin combined have been to six state tournaments.
Thursday will be the second time D-G-F has ever been to the Class 2A state baseball tournament. Oberg and Irwin are the only two people that can say they started on both teams. The Rebels open up against No. 2 seed Maple Lake at 3 p.m. at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, Minn.
The baseball tournament will be the last in any kind of D-G-F uniform for Oberg and Irwin.
"It's kind of hit me pretty hard the last couple of weeks. Best-case scenario I'll only put a D-G-F jersey on three more times," Oberg said. "It's kind of sad and bittersweet, but it's awesome we're going to the state tournament for baseball."
Both Oberg and Irwin have played four seasons of varsity baseball, while Oberg did three season of football and four seasons of wrestling and Irwin did three seasons of basketball and two seasons of football.
"(Baseball) has definitely been my favorite sport," Irwin said. "It's a good feeling to end it with my favorite sport, end it with a bang. Making it to state makes it that much greater, but also that much harder to take off the uniform for the last time and play my last inning."
Irwin and Oberg have been friends since first grade. Irwin was first throwing a ball at two years old with his dad. He and his cousins always played baseball together.
"There was something about the game and the history of it," Irwin said. "A lot of times it isn't fun to watch, but there's something about playing it that just intrigued me."
Oberg grew up idolizing his cousin, Kyle Knudson, who played baseball for the University of Minnesota and in the minor league system of the Minnesota Twins.
"Me and my brother, Tyler, always grew up wanting to be like Kyle," Oberg said.
D-G-F's baseball team is 78-20 with two section championships during the four years with Oberg and Irwin. The duo has twice made the all-conference team and Oberg earned athlete of the year in 2017 and 2018 for D-G-F baseball, sharing the title with Irwin in 2018. They are both in their second year of being captains.
"Both are amazing young men, who will succeed at whatever they chose to do," D-G-F coach Bill Ibach said.
Oberg is 6-1 with a 0.64 earned-run average with 57 strikeouts in 42 innings on the mound this season. Irwin is 7-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 45 innings. Irwin is batting .457 with five homers, 26 RBIs and 37 runs at the plate, while Oberg is batting .347 with six homers, 20 RBIs and 23 runs.
The two had the opportunity to play baseball in college, but elected to focus more on school. Oberg is headed to Colorado State to study construction management on a full ROTC scholarship and Irwin will study actuarial science at Minnesota State Moorhead.
"It's meant the world to me to be part of the D-G-F culture, and in the past few years it seems like all of our sports have gotten better and better," Irwin said. "It's meant the world to be part of a pretty competitive school all across the board in all sports and to represent the baseball team well."
Although Oberg said playing sports with his brother at D-G-F is one of the most fun things he'll ever do, playing alongside Irwin isn't too far behind.
"We kind of know how to act, how to lead, what's expected and what the younger kids are going to look up to," Oberg said. "That's what we try to do."