TEXARKANA -- This Week USA Baseball released their list of the teams attending the 17U USA National Championship Invitational this summer in Cary, North Carolina, and a familiar name was listed as one of the 16 teams invited to the prestigious event taking place June 13-16.
Texarkana, Arkansas-based Sticks Baseball will be one of the 16 teams playing this year in the invite-only event, attending as the 3n2 Sticks Baseball 17U Brewster/White Sox Scout Team. The team will be coached by Texas High graduate Chase Brewster as the head coach, and will feature Texarkana natives Shane Halter and Kameron Forte as assistant coaches.
While the Sticks rosters for 15U and 16U have multiple players from the Texarkana area, the 17U team for this summer attending this event features one local player as of now in Pleasant Grove's Brenton Clark, who Coach Brewster said he expects to play centerfield and hit lead off this summer.
"Brenton has been with us forever, so we know exactly what we will get with him leading off the game for us and playing in center field," Brewster said. "He has had a great year for PG in both those roles, and has really excelled in those situations. I cannot think of a better player to start out each game batting for us."
Clark is just as excited.
"I was excited when I heard that our team got invited as one of the teams to go to Cary for the USA tournament," he said. "It will be a great opportunity to play against some of the best teams at a nice venue like the one that they have. This will be an experience that we will never forget."
Brewster also noted that it was possible that local pitchers Jarret Halter, Luke Flangan, Hudson Davis, Hunter Rose, and position player Spencer Browning as possible players who could be asked to play with the older kids for this event.
"With this being the biggest event of the summer we have to put ourselves in a position to be successful anyway that we can," Brewser said. "Both our 15U and 16U teams are off that week by design to carry extra arms with us if need be. Spencer (Browning) has a real chance to play for Team USA this summer, and they asked us to bring him with us if it works into his schedule for this event.
"It is so far away that right now we do not have a concrete plan, but we definitely have options."
Brewster noted that this event has terrible timing, with all the other must attend events right in the middle of June and early July also.
"They basically jammed the tournament into the middle of the week, starting on a Tuesday and finishing on a Friday to make it fit," the caoch said. "It is terrible timing, but it is something everyone has to deal with. Everyone will move everything in their schedule for USA Baseball."
The event will feature 16 teams from 12 different states, none of which are from the home state of North Carolina. Texas Twelve out of College Station, Texas, won the event last year, and will be looking to repeat this year.
Speaking of the schedule, Brewster also noted that he was proud of the Sticks 15U and 16U teams for getting invited to play in the prestigious invite only Perfect Game/Baseball America Ultimate Baseball Classic in Irvine, California, this summer. The event features 12 teams only in each group playing June 19-22.
The reason that Brewster's 17U team is not playing in this invite only event you wonder. "It was just impossible for us to get from Cary, NC to Irvine, CA with one day in between the two star studded events."
3n2 Sticks Baseball/White Sox Scout Team (Arkansas)
Alpha Prime (California)
Canes National/Mets Scout Team (Virginia)
Dulins Dodgers Prime Godwin (Texas)
East Coast Sox Scout (Mississippi)
East Cobb Astros (Georgia)
Elite Squad Baseball (Florida)
Exposure 17U National (Tennessee)
Indiana Bulls Black (Indiana)
Knights Knation 17U National (Louisiana)
Power Baseball/Blue Jays Scout Team (Florida)
Royals Scout Team (Kansas)
Team Elite (Georgia)
Texas Twelve (Texas)
Top Tier Select (Illinois)
USA Prime National 17U (Texas)