Marysville High School baseball players opt for travel ball over local Elite program

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Marysville High School pitcher Trey Storr fires the ball toward the plate during a 2019 game. Monarch athletes have chosen to compete on travel ball clubs this summer, instead of the local Elite program. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

Marysville High School baseball players have exchanged a no-cost mindset for the opportunity to be seen by college coaches.
For the past couple of years, Marysville High School players have stayed home for summer games.
The Marysville Elite program was started by former head coach Mark Brunswick as a way to keep the Monarchs together during the summer months.
Games were played after the conclusion of a typical spring season.
Athletes played on varsity, junior varsity and freshman level teams.
Prior to the program’s formation, MHS players were members of various travel teams throughout central Ohio.
The problem was that locally-based teams did not give Monarch athletes a great opportunity to be seen by college coaches.
“Summer teams, on the other hand, can play between 25 and 30 games during weekend tournaments,” said current Marysville head coach Nick Blake. “Those tournaments attract a lot of college coaches and give our guys very good exposure to those on the next level.”
MHS players have decided to forego the free-of-charge Elite program for travel ball that can carry a hefty price tag.
“Summer teams play in tournaments that are costly,” said Blake. “It can cost families thousands of dollars, if the parents are willing to pay that much.”
Summer fees cover the cost of tournament entry fees, plus other travel-related expenditures.
The Elite program was offered at no charge to players and their families. The MHS team’s Diamond Club paid for costs associated with the program.
Blake said the coronavirus did not factor into the termination of the Elite program.
“We had decided to shut it down before the virus happened because most of our guys had opportunities to play on travel teams this year,” he said.
Blake noted there is nearly a 100 percent participation rate of Monarch players on travel ball squads.
“Elite was a good program,” he said. “Travel ball, however, allows our guys to go to different places and play against outstanding competition.”
Although Monarch athletes are not playing on local teams this summer, they are not far off the radar of the Marysville High School coaching staff.
Blake is conducting weekly workouts (Monday-through-Friday) for his players.
Those workouts, which opened up a little more this week, allow athletes to work on skill drills and situational baseball that is associated with the Marysville program.
The entire 2020 spring season was wiped by COVID-19.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association ruled earlier in the spring that high school athletic programs may use an unlimited number of workout days due to the lost season.



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