SPORTS - "Utah Sandlot is Bringing the Love of Baseball to the Valley"


Bear River City, July 14, 2022 - Photo courtesy of Texie Fower

BEAR RIVER CITY - By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, July 21, 2022


Baseball is, or at least once was, considered America's Game. To the older generations, baseball was the national pastime. Unfortunately, those days seem to be long forgotten and just that, a thing of the past. Sure, there are still those who are passionate about the sport. Many still attend games and encourage their children to play, but as far as youth participation goes, numbers have steadily declined over the years.


Those passionate fans of the sport turn to traveling teams or other organizations to stay close to the game and keep their children playing. But what about the casual fan that just wants to try out the sport and see if it is something they are interested in? Many have turned to city sponsored and ran leagues that can help children get their fill of playing baseball but sometimes those too can be very time consuming and take a commitment from the parents.


The "good old days" offered neighborhood baseball games where kids would get together and play just for fun. That is where many learned about the sport and got their first opportunity to stand at the plate and swing a bat. With borrowed gloves and a couple of baseball bats, kids spent hours together playing and having a good time.


That is just what James and Tara Lowe are trying to recreate. Coach Ballgame and Mrs. Ballgame, as they are affectionately known as started the Coach Ballgame Sandlots in their home state of California and their program is quickly spreading across the country. The program is teaching children that playing baseball is fun and that they don't need to be part of a special league or organization to get out there and play.


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Bear River City, July 14, 2022 - Photo courtesy of Texie Fower

Coach Texie (Fowers) and Coach Jamie (Barkdull) both see the need in Utah for such a program and have decided to coach the Utah Sandlots together. Both are former college softball players who want to give back to the sport and help younger children see how much fun can be had playing baseball and softball.


The Sandlots give children a fun and no pressure environment to try out the sport and learn skills that will help them as they continue playing the sport. They will come away from the class knowing basic rules of the game, the different positions, and skills associated with the game.


Aside from the skills they will learn, the coaches will also teach the children valuable lessons that will not only help them on the field, but in in their day-to-day lives. They will learn that there is more to the game that winning or losing. They will learn the importance of personal character, making good choices, and having positive energy, among other values and principles. Children will learn from some of the best to every play the game as the coaches share stories of past legends and the lessons that can be learned from their stories.


Possibly the most important mission of the sandlots is to teach the children to have fun. With nicknames, catchphrases, music, ridiculous characters and the ability to be loud and silly, children will learn what it is like to have an absolute blast playing baseball.


Coach Texie on the role her and Coach Jamie have as coaches. "We hope to spread positivity to these young kids and help them fall in love with this great game, all while building good character and having fun!"


The Sandlots are open for boys and girls ages 3-13. All skill levels and interest in baseball are welcome. They are reaching out to the die-hard fans as well as the children who are hesitant to give it a shot. It doesn't matter if the child has full baseball gear or has never put on a glove, they want all children to come out and experience the joy of playing baseball.


"Our Sandlots are for the experienced and non-experienced kids. The kids that don't have a glove, cleats or bat. The kid that didn't make the little league or travel ball team. It's for special needs kids. Every kid is welcome to join our sandlot," they added.


Upcoming schedule for the Sandlots:


Thursday, July 21:

Ages 3-5 is from 3-4 p.m.

Ages 6-9 is from 4:30-6 p.m.

Ages 10-13 is from 6:30-8 p.m.


Thursday, July 28:

Ages 3-5 is from 3-4 p.m.

Ages 6-9 is from 4:30-6 p.m.

Ages 10-13 is from 6:30-8 p.m.


Both Sandlots will be held at the Bear River City Park. Registration is available on the link below and is $20 per class


https://www.hisawyer.com/coach-ballgame/schedules?sched_ids%5B%5D=111905&schedule_id=


Photos courtesy of Texie Fowers

Bear River City, July 14, 2022 - Photo courtesy of Texie Fower

Bear River City, July 14, 2022 - Photo courtesy of Texie Fower