August 2, 2013

Exposing players to college coaches

Next Level Training Academy hosts recruiting combine for high school baseball players

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Next Level Training Academy held its Recruiting Combine 2013 for high school baseball players Tuesday at Pulaski County High School.

Baseball players from all around the state, including some from both North Laurel and South Laurel, participated in the event to showcase their skills.

Several universities were present, including the University of Kentucky, Florida State University, Alice Lloyd College, Middle Tennessee State University and Transylvania University.

“This is a good thing that Jon (Townsend) has put together,” said Keith Vorhoff, assistant volunteer coach at UK. “There are a lot of good players in this area and we don’t get a chance to see them all. This gives us a better chance.”

Participants in the combine were put through a variety of baseball drills, from speed and agility to throwing, fielding, pitching and batting.

“This one differed from other showcases in that we did a little bit more than normal,” said Townsend, director of the Next Level Training Academy. “Normally players just throw, swing, and might play a game. At ours we put them through a variety of game situations. We gave instruction and evaluation in all the categories that college and pro scouts search for.

“This was the first one we have done,” he added. “I’m really pleased with how it turned out. All the coaches had a good time and several of the players are going to be recruited by the schools that were here.”

Townsend also noted that the players enjoyed the combine, especially the feedback they received from the coaches.

“A lot of them said it was neat to have a coach from somewhere like Florida State University taking to them,” Townsend said.