Submitted by Robin Ward
OAKHURST – The Yosemite Colts Baseball team ended its 2014 baseball season with James Gillaspy managing the team along with coaches Mike Howell and Cody Walden.
The team has traveled as far down the state of California as Kingsburg, and as high up as Pismo beach.
The Colts had players come out from Atwater, Mariposa, Oakhurst and Coarsegold to play the competitive game they love. These young people put a tremendous amount of time and effort into training and working together to win several championship games, beating teams from Clovis, a JV team from the Pismo area, and a Division ONE high school team from Madera!
As a parent, it was awesome seeing these kids bond and play so well together. Surprisingly enough, the average age of the baseball team was 13 so much of the time, teams were blown away at our youth.
To see these kids making double plays, diving catches in the outfield, regular throws for outs by our amazing catchers to catch runners stealing and hearing “strike three” for our pitchers is absolutely phenomenal!
Can you imagine kids hitting regular doubles and triples? Well, for the record, it was three in one game!
“It was great to see the Colts grow this baseball season,” said Berl Howell, grandfather of third baseman Luke Howell, third baseman. “They had some great experiences and some of them played at Grizzly Park!”
Berl has some more advice for the seemingly insatiable athletes: “Remember boys,” he said, “a winner never gives up. Always push forward!” In the words of the immortal Babe Ruth, “never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
James Gillaspy worked tirelessly this season to keep these kids pumped up and “in the game.” He never let up when kids got down on themselves, and made sure sportsmanship was key.
“As in all baseball games, there can be heat as a coach advocates for his team, but he only threw his hat down once,” laughed Bill Ward, father of second baseman Chris Ward. “The excitement James has for his players and their future is contagious, and he’s said the outlook for the Yosemite High School baseball team is on the up-side for the next year or so.”
Mike Howell and Cody Walden did a tremendous job of getting the kids fired up, speaking to them as they got back into the dugout and setting them straight if they needed it. Fans would always hear them telling the kids they did well, hit well and the players responded by working harder.
“I am so proud to be a part of Yosemite Colts Baseball.,” said Assistant Coach Howell. “I’ve never played with a group of boys that have so much talent. I am proud to be part of this organization and I love every one of these boys. We’re looking forward to watching them grow as ball players!”
Yosemite Colts, your coaches are proud of you! Your parents are proud of you and you should be proud of yourselves!
You played hard, won championship games and worked well together. We look forward to your representing our community in high school baseball.