MONTROSE – Six-year-old Micah Nichols of Montrose likes to say, "I'm almost seven." It’s as if he can’t wait to fulfill his dream of playing baseball for the Montrose High School Indians.
Last Saturday, April 6, members of the perennial league-champ MHS baseball team, many of whom started the game as young as Nichols, taught a group of roughly three dozen youngsters the basics of swing mechanics in preparation for their upcoming summer Little League season.
The Montrose Youth Baseball and Softball Program hitting clinic is held annually at the Sunset Mesa Sports Complex on top of Sunset Mesa.
"I think its important for them (MHS players) to come out here and help the kids,” said MHS Head Coach Landon Wareham. “The big thing about [the high school players] is many of them have been here long enough with our coaching staff that they have come up through our camps. We have always used our kids for our camps. It's a way for them to come back and give a little back."
The Indians players, who remain undefeated (10-0) this season following a recent win over Grand Junction, laughed while instructing the youngsters on the importance of taking the bat back into the swing, moving the hips and legs into a forward stride, and swinging the bat level, finishing with the bat above the elbow and under the shoulder, as directed by Wareham.
The players were divided into five groups, based on age, and took turns in various batting cages to work on making simple, driving contact with the ball.
Working with the 6 and 7-year-old group, MHS junior Jake Bradburn, once a Montrose Little Leaguer himself, helped Nichols with his stance, reminding him to keep his feet pointed straight ahead and not flared out at an angle.
Bradburn reminisced about growing from a young player into the competitiveness of high school baseball, and in particular the Indians’ highly skilled level of play, as they battle to win another Southwestern League Title.
"It feels kind of crazy knowing that these [little] guys are going to be doing the stuff I'm doing right now, under the same coaching, and knowing how good they'll be. Knowing we can make a difference with them, that's pretty cool," Bradburn said.
For more information about the Montrose Youth Baseball and Softball Program for both boys and girls log onto: www.montroserec.com.