Former Douglas High Standout Returns Home
by Joey Crandall, email@example.com · 3 min read
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — It’s been a circuitous route back home for Ty Hoelzen.
After helping lead the 2009 Douglas High baseball team to its first regional title in 20 years, Hoelzen continued his playing career in college, both at the junior college and Division I levels, and later in professional baseball before settling back in Nevada.
He then spent some time working in the Triple-A Reno Aces organization and this spring finds himself back in familiar territory, serving his high school program as an assistant coach.
Hoelzen moved back to Carson Valley last summer and put down roots with his personal training practice, Bighorn Strength.
Through Bighorn, he offers strength training, baseball training, pitching lessons and hunting fitness training — a series of offerings suited to just about everything Hoelzen has been involved in up to this point.
“Personal training has been something I’ve wanted to make a career out of for a long time, and I’ve worked hard to build a business out of it,” Hoelzen said. “I’m a National Strength and Conditioning Association Member, I’ve been to the conventions and I’ve put in the time and research to bring some expertise to the table.
“Really, I can work with all ages for both strength and baseball training. Anywhere from about age 8 to high school.”
Hoelzen works with Train to Hunt, which trains hunters across the country online and through Train To Hunt challenges.
He’s also a representative for Wilderness Athlete, a nutrition/supplement company based out of Arizona.
For the past two years, Hoelzen worked with the Aces stadium operations division and split his time interning with the club’s strength coach.
“I got to learn some really high level stuff,” Hoelzen said.
He also spent time working with Carson High grad Matt Rutledge, now a Double-A strength coach in the Oakland Athletics organization, and with Reno grad Marc Kaiser, who runs the Reno Mustangs travel baseball club.
“Working with them, too, I was able to receive a lot of good knowledge and experience from those guys,” Hoelzen said.
Hoelzen has the benefit of a significant amount of personal experience as well.
He signed a contract with the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Assocation of Baseball after wrapping up a successful career pitching for Sacramento State University in 2013.
Prior to Sacramento State, he helped pitch Feather River College to back-to-back conference titles, earning All-Golden Valley Conference honors in 2010 and preseason All-America honors in 2011.
At Douglas he was a three-year starter, going 8-2 on the mound during his senior season with 78 strikeouts and All-State honors.
This spring, he’s serving as an assistant coach for the Tigers.
“I just felt a need to give back to the community that helped shape who I am and what I’ve been able to experience,” he said. “Coaching, especially in this game, just felt like a natural fit for me. Douglas has such a strong baseball tradition. I was proud to be a part of it as a player, and I’m excited to be able to be a part of it now as a coach.”
The hunting aspect of his business has spun off into a quickly-growing merchandise brand.
With help from former Douglas teammate Niko Saladis, Hoelzen was able to take a logo he’d sketched out and digitize it.
“I just wanted something I could promote my training business with, and I knew what I wanted it to look like. Niko cleaned it up and make it a computer-based thing. I posted a hat I had made on social media and people started asking if they could buy one,” Hoelzen said. “It started out as just a fun thing, but it kind of took off. I’ve sold merchandise all of the country, predominantly in Nevada – former classmates and teammates, stuff like that. People seem to like it.”