Webster student represents FFA by throwing first pitch

Elizabeth Varin
Special to the Farm Forum

It was hard for Cheyanne Deibert to believe what was happening.

That is, until she walked onto the diamond at Target Field in Minneapolis.

“I was not prepared at all,” she said. “I really should have listened to my instincts. It was just almost too surreal for me to think ‘Yeah, this is happening.’ But when we started going down to the tunnels and everything I was like ‘Wow, this is actually happening.’”

The soon-to-be senior at Webster Area School and vice president of the Webster/Waubay FFA Chapter threw the first pitch July 21, part of FFA Day with the Twins when they took on the Oakland Athletics.

The event was organized by the Minnesota FFA Foundation, which invited celebrated neighboring states to help celebrate FFA, according to Val Aarsvold, Minnesota FFA Foundation executive director. She added that she was excited to be represented by Deibert, who was chosen based on the recommendation of her FFA Advisor, Fred Zenk.

It was an amazing experience, Deibert said. She and her family are Twins fans, and so she made sure to sign up for the chapter trip to the game.

She remembers going down the elevator with her dad, Leonard, and the Minnesota State FFA Officers to the secure level where the team locker rooms are. She remembers talking with the person who would announce her name as he made sure he got the right pronunciation. However, a lot of it is a blur, she admitted.

Deibert didn’t quite make it to the mound as it was still being prepped for the game, but she stood before the crowd and threw the ball to T. C. Bear, the Twins’ mascot, standing at home plate.

The ball bounced once before getting there, and Deibert holds that mark on the ball with pride.

“This is something most people won’t even experience in their lifetime,” she said.

The field announcer told her before she was introduced that she’s not only representing South Dakota or the Minnesota FFA Foundation, but the entire FFA Foundation.

“To me that felt almost like an accomplishment. I’ve worked pretty hard to get where I am in our chapter, and I enjoy FFA so much,” she said. “That was just kind of a moment for me to realize all my hard work has paid off.

“But it was kind of nerve wracking at the same time knowing that one pitch defined the whole FFA,” she added, laughing.

The moment is still sinking in for Deibert, who felt it was hard to believe it happened, especially on her first trip to Target Field.

“So, the stadium is huge, but we got right down behind home plate, and it looks way bigger on TV than it actually is,” she said. “But just looking up and seeing all the people around, and I ended up seeing my chapter up there and they were cheering me on, that was good. It was a good experience.”

The best part of the game though, she said, is that the Twins won.

Cheyanne Deibert, a senior-to-be at Webster Area High School, throws the first pitch at the July 21 Twins game in Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Val Aarsvold, executive director, Minnesota FFA Foundation
Cheyanne Deibert, a senior-to-be at Webster Area High School, shows the jersey, hat and ball she received after throwing the first pitch at the July 21 Minnesota Twins game. Photo by Elizabeth Varin