On a warm summer day in Missoula the Montana Elite Baseball Team is getting a practice in, one of only a handful before heading to a much warmer Arizona for the 14U USA National Tournament.
“Well at first it’s kind of scary and nervous because you don’t know anyone and you forget names but at the end you know people and they are kind of your friend,” said Jarron Wilcox.
“It’s been a fun experience so far, it’s only been the first day but I’ve met a bunch of new kids and it’s been a great experience so far,” said Carson Bitney.
The team is made up of 20 all star caliber kids from across the state. This is the second year of Montana Elite Baseball being invited to the national tourney and they couldn’t be more thrilled to go.
“Well I’m super excited because these guys down here are pretty good,” said Wilcox.
“It’s great opportunity and it’s really fun as well. No one thinks little kids from Montana know how to play baseball especially against states like California so it will be cool to see what the competition is,” said Jacob Boint.
With over 60 teams and 1,000 players in the tournament this gives the kids from Montana exposure they wouldn’t normally have, oh and they get to play on the pro spring training fields which is pretty cool.
“Obviously when you get a chance to go play in an environment like that it sets the stage and the bar a little bit higher,” said Assistant Coach Aviles.
Last year the Elite team finished in an impressive 12th place. They are hoping to improve on that this year and also hope to get a kid selected to try out for the USA National team.
“That would be amazing kids from Montana in the second year of this program making a notice that would be cool,” said Bitney.
“That would be great even if someone else on the team gets noticed I guess, then it sort of draws attention the the whole team and the organization as a whole and opens up the door for a bunch more kids as well,” said Boint.