Baseball boys head to Junior Olympics
On the heels of the Miners’ first appearance in the 3A state baseball tournament in years, comes the naming of two of its players to the USA Baseball Junior Olympic Championships, which will take place June 22-30 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Sophomore catcher Parker Morin and freshman pitcher/third baseman David Feasler will be part of the Utah Baseball Academy team, which will represent the state.
The two young men took slightly different paths to make the team. Morin attended tryouts in the spring that tested his speed, agility, power and overall baseball skills. After that, he was invited to the Utah Baseball Academy’s spring training in Mesquite, Nev. To play in front of coaches and administrators. For Morin, this will be the first time he has ever played in the Junior Olympics
"It’s a pretty big deal," Morin said.
Feasler earned his way onto the Junior Olympic team with a history of solid play. Sidelined with a severe ankle injury in the spring, tryouts were out of the question and he hobbled through the training in Mesquite. Luckily, the previous summer, he was an all-star for the Utah Baseball Academy and played in the Pacific Northwest Championships. A glowing recommendation from Park city freshman coach Kerry Phillips didn’t hurt either, and so, a few weeks ago, Feasler received a formal invitation as well.
"They were aware of his high school play and capabilities and that’s what got him there," said his father, John Feasler.
As a freshman player, Feasler is viewing the experience as an opportunity to learn from upperclassman and build on his skills.
"I think I will get better playing with better players and against better players," Feasler said.
Both boys have been playing baseball since they were very young and focus on it as their main sport.
Appearing in the Junior Olympics is more than an isolated accomplishment. Scouts from college and professional teams attend the Junior Olympics to get an idea of the talent that is coming up from the high school ranks. There is the opportunity to be invited to the Tournament of Stars at the end of the week where players compete for one of 18 all-expenses paid spots on the USA Baseball Junior National Team.
The all expenses-paid part is especially attractive to both boys. In order to attend the Junior Olympic tournament they need to raise about $1,500 to cover travel, lodging and tournament fees. They have both been selling Travel Kleen car wash cards and asking for donations, but are a ways from their goal. Still, both say that nothing will stop them from their achieving their dreams.
"I see it as improvement to play beyond high school," Morin said.
To purchase a car wash card or make a donation to either boy, contact Morin at 640-6735 or Feasler at 659-9636.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.