College Park Baseball Honored with Invitational to National Tournament
Dec 05, 2014 05:43PM
● By Jennifer Neys
Being the 2014 Diablo Valley Athletic League Champions, North Coast Section Champions, and CalHi Sports California D2 Team of the Year was just the beginning for the College Park High School baseball program. If they were under the radar before then, they are certainly on the map now. Returning eight of the starters from that championship team for the 2015 season has the Falcons poised for another championship run. But before that happens, they have some business to take care of in North Carolina.
The National High School Invitational
The College Park baseball team has been invited to participate in the National High School Invitational (NHSI) tournament, March 25-28, 2015, at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. Sponsored by USA Baseball, Baseball America magazine, and the Town of Cary, the tournament features sixteen of the nation’s top high school baseball teams. The Falcons are the first team from Northern California ever to attend the event, and they are excited to have the opportunity to represent College Park, Pleasant Hill, and Northern California at this elite, national tournament. College Park Head Coach Andy Tarpley says the team can’t wait to compete against the nation’s best teams. “It's such an honor to be the first team from NorCal to attend the NHSI, especially considering the monster talent that resides in our region of the state. Many schools may have two or three projectable players, but CP possesses the entire cast to make up a once-in-a-century team. The entire program, including the incredibly devoted parents, hard working coaches, and super talented and smart players, are to be commended.”
CP player Joe DeMers is a USA Baseball veteran, having played on four USA Baseball National teams, but to be heading back to the USA Baseball Training Complex that he knows so well, with his high school team, is really exciting for the pitcher. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the fact that I get to experience it with friends I’ve played with since I was seven is really amazing. I’m pumped.”
In order to get to the tournament, the team has been fundraising since June. They are about half way to their goal and have several fundraisers planned. As the only high school in Pleasant Hill, they are turning to the Pleasant Hill businesses and community for support. They’ve held a poker tournament, started a letter campaign, and are hosting youth baseball clinics and selling calendars, among other things. Visit the team’s website at www.collegeparkbaseball.net for more information on upcoming fundraisers or to make a donation online.
About the College Park Baseball Team
Seven of the CP senior players signed their National Letters of Intent to play baseball at the next level during the NCAA early signing period: Chris Brown (UC Davis), Noah Burnham (UC Santa Barbara), Joe DeMers (University of Washington), Trevor Larnach (Oregon State University), Willie MacIver (University of Washington), Jeffrey Mitchell (UC Berkeley), and Nick Oar (Stanford University). When asked how he felt about signing with so many of his teammates, Jeffrey Mitchell shared, “Since we’ve all been playing together for so long, we’ve been pushing each other to reach this goal for a long time, and the fact that we could do it all together was really fulfilling.”
Starting Out as PHBA Condors
The majority of the CP players started their baseball careers playing for Pleasant Hill Baseball Association (PHBA). Seven of the returning seniors on the CP team played together on the Pleasant Hill Condors in 2007. Condors Head Coach Bruce MacIver said he realized these boys were special when they were ten years old. They played in the 10U USSSA Western World Series in Southern California not expecting much, but hoping to gain some good experience and have a fun baseball trip as the last hurrah of the season. Facing all of the Western United States’ and especially Southern California’s best club teams was daunting, but the Condors of Pleasant Hill battled hard and made it all the way to the championship game! They stunned the youth baseball community and set the bar high for themselves. MacIver used to address the team consistently with “our goal is to get you ready so you can play varsity baseball in high school.” Little did he realize that would not be the final stop in their baseball careers.