By GARREN BASTAMANTE
Amarillo College has already started building its team for the baseball program. Last year, the team was officially announced and gameplay will be starting the season of 2022.
“We want to get signing kids before they start their senior year in high school,” said Brandon Rains, the head coach for AC’s new baseball team. “We have about five guys that have verbally committed to us already.”
Officials say people are looking forward to the new team. “The community’s excitement about the program has been overwhelming,” Mark White, the AC athletic director, said.
White said student athletes may sign binding contracts as soon as this November. He said that so far the team has five athletes interested in signing.
According to White, the team will be playing in region five of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Some of the teams AC will play include: Clarendon Community College, El Paso Community College, Frank Phillips College, Howard College, Midland College and Odessa College.
Rains said students can expect to see athletes on campus in September 2022.
With players comes trainers, “We will have trainers on campus every day. Mostly in the afternoon, but yes our athletes will be taken care of as far as all that goes,” said Rains
The recruiting system for AC has begun. “We will start in Amarillo and then we will expand outward. There’s good base talent in the Texas Panhandle,” Rains said.
Mason Ladd, who can play both catcher and shortstop, said, “Coach Rains has made me feel like a big part of the program already and I think we will win a lot of baseball games.” Ladd has verbally committed and plans to sign for the 2022 season.
The games will be on Fridays and Saturdays with two games a day, according to White.
“And something that will be really fun is that we will have a live mascot,” White, said, “like Ruckus for the Sod Poodles,” he said.