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June 24, 2013

A Look Ahead: Showcase event hits diamond

You could be a graduating senior yet to find a home. Or you could be an upcoming senior looking to get a head start on impressing college baseball coaches and scouts.

Maybe you’re even younger and just want to get your name out there.

The Carpet City Showcase will take place for the first time this weekend, and a college prospect event will happen in conjunction with the eight-team tournament. The 18-and-under travel-ball teams will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Christian Heritage School and Northwest Whitfield High School.

Also on Saturday, Dalton baseball coach Shane Ramsey and Northwest baseball coach Todd Middleton will host a college prospect showcase June 29 at Dalton High School starting at 5 p.m. The cost for players to participate is $35 — to be turned in with a registration form at the event between 4 and 5 p.m. — and the plan is for officials and coaches from numerous nearby colleges to be present to watch potential recruits.

“It’s for all ages,” Middleton said of the prospect event. “If there are unsigned seniors still looking for a place to play, then they are welcome. Some junior colleges and smaller schools are looking for players for next season. Most schools are looking for some rising seniors for the 2014-2015 season.

“I’ve encouraged all my kids, at least the returning kids, to come to the showcase. I’m not sure who will be or won’t be.”

The tournament and prospect showcase could become annual events for the summer. Both Middleton and Ramsey said it was the idea of Christian Heritage assistant coach Allen Coley, who is also the coach for the ProFormance Sports Academy travel team participating in the three-day tournament.

“It’s not very big,” Coley said of the tournament’s field. “We’re going to try and grow it.

“It’s something I’ve had a vision of and something I want to do to make it bigger and have all the high schools involved.”

While the eight teams are already signed up, anyone can take part in the prospect showcase. You don’t have to be on one of the travel teams — or any travel team — to participate. The event will include pitching drills — velocity checking — plus arm strength drills for infielders and outfielders. Each player signed up will get batting practice, too.

“It gives the college coaches an opportunity to see each of the local high school kids and gives the kids a chance to perform in front of college coaches and scouts,” Ramsey said. “A lot of the showcases the kids only get around six swings. Of course the amount will vary depending on how many kids we have, but we want the college coaches to see them each take a lot of swings.”

n The Dalton Dolphins, 4-1 on the Chattanooga Area Swim League season, host the Fairyland Flash today. The Dolphins are off Thursday but have a developmental meet Saturday at Signal Mountain.

n Registration for the Northwest Soccer Academy Belles’ girls under-12, under-10 and under-8 division girls club teams will be from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday outside the John Davis Recreation Center in Dalton, next to the soccer fields and snack bar area at James Brown Park. To learn more, call (706) 280-1990 or write to thebelles@northwestsocceracademy.com.

Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead”? Write to him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com.

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