You can’t build the top floor of a building without establishing a lasting foundation.
This philosophy rings true in a number different arenas. In Devils Lake, it’s being applied to America’s past time: baseball.
For the summer of 2013, the Devils Lake Park Board implemented a youth baseball program aimed to help teach young kids the basic fundamentals of the game with the hope that it can help make the high-school-level teams more competitive in the future.
“It all starts here,” said Jason Wiburg, Devils Lake High School Athletic Director. “Our teams have not been as successful as we’d like to see them at the high school level. We felt that if we start working with the kids, it would help us out in the long run.”
Wiburg is one of many people involved in this program, making sure that kids learn what they need to know about the game and that they have fun doing it.
The system in place has youth players rotate between ten different stations, all of which emphasize a particular aspect of the game. Activities range from hitting, running bases and how to throw a baseball properly.
“As coaches, we want organization,” said Jay Schneider, Devils Lake High School head football coach. “We have people out here coaching that know what they’re doing. We’re just trying to get things across to the kids in a good, quick manner that they understand so that they can learn the game.”
With so many stations to manage and so many kids to direct, the program is fortunate to have an abundance of coaches helping out, including Schneider.
Travis Titus is another of those coaches and has been one of the key components in the program’s development.
A Jamestown native, Titus has been charged with the duty of improving the youth baseball scene in Devils Lake, to get more kids playing baseball early so that they’re better prepared for the high school and legion levels.
“We want to get back to playing Class A legion baseball. That’s the ultimate goal,” Titus said. “In order to do that, you have to start from the bottom and work your way forward. We’re trying to improve the experience of both the kids and the parents here.
"Hopefully it’s something that’s enjoyable for the kids so we can keep them involved and keep moving forward with it.”
Contact the Devils Lake Park Board at 662-8243 for more information about this program.
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