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Guidance from Coaches is Golden

          Luke Mann                           Scott Brown                          Erik Miller                      Dave Stewart

Article in the St. Louis Review by Joe Kenney, June 9, 2016

High school baseball coaches do a lot more than fill out a starting lineup and deal with strategy, especially when it comes to having talented players.

Playing for a coach who had success as a pitcher means a lot to St. John Vianney's Luke Mann.

Mann had an outstanding year in 2016. Among his statistical highlights was posting a school- record 0.43 earned run average.  "He gives me the tools of the trade to be successful," Mann said of Vianney's coach, Scott Brown, who pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Among the highlights of his sophomore season that just concluded, Mann tossed Vianney's second no-hitter of the season when his team defeated De Smet Jesuit High School and pitcher Erik Miller by a score of 1-0 on April 12. In the Class 5, District 4 semifinal game, Mann struck out nine as Vianney won 5-0 against Kirkwood. The team was stopped in the district finals against St. Louis University High School.

When he struggles, Mann said, Brown gives him the help he needs. He's a "family-type" coach, the player said, and easily approachable. They sometimes talk in the coach's office about baseball, school and college choices.

Brown's advice is golden, and Mann takes it in. What he and his teammates have learned most, Mann said, is how to sacrifice to help the overall team goal, how to establish a brotherhood on and off the field. He knows that if he messes up, "they have my back."

Miller, a lefthanded-pitching senior for De Smet, likewise has been guided by a coach who imparts his wisdom. Dave Stewart was a first baseman who was drafted in the 31st round by the Washington Nationals after high school but chose to play in college. He then was a 22nd-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2009 amateur draft. His career was cut short by an injury.

"He's been through the same situations I've been through now, with all the scouts coming to the games ... all the pressure," Miller said earlier this year. "He's been able to talk to me about how to handle it and the process of doing what I want to do and not focusing on what other people say."

Miller, an outstanding student as well, stays grounded by focusing on where he's come from and on the hard work he still has ahead of him. There's times when he struggles, feels a bit overwhelmed with so much to do and is looking for answers to various questions. That's when he looks to God to help push him through. "I lean on that in times of pressure, a lot of people looking toward me and me wanting to set a good example," he said. "There's no better example for me than God and Jesus."

Baseball is fun though, Miller said. "It has to be fun to be good at it. ... I fell in love with the game ever since I started playing it."

The game combines a mental aspect with the physical, which he especially enjoys.

Stewart said he tries to help players have fun by letting them have much of the control of the game. "They're playing a game. When I was playing professional baseball they talked about the same thing. If you don't have the mindset that this is a game, you're not going to relax, you're not going to play well."

He said no matter if it's a star player or not, high school athletes all have some adversity and pressure. He approaches them the same, helping them with their goals and their faith, staying positive and focused, relaxing and loving life. "It doesn't matter physically who you are, you have to take care of yourself as a human being first," Stewart said.

He appreciates being a coach at De Smet because coaches get to talk about the faith life and help them see that as a positive force. "Day one of this job I told myself this cannot be just about baseball. We do team Masses, 'power hours', we pray every day as a team before and after practice. We even invite teams after the game to pray with us around the mound. If that's not part of this job, then I'm not doing my job right."

Catholic schools in St. Louis are lucky to have many good baseball programs with other outstanding players — Bishop DuBourg, St. Louis University High School, St. Pius X, CBC and Valle Catholic just to name a few. I admire all that their dedicated coaches do to help develop student-athletes.
 

CYC Golfer describes her FIRST Hole-in-One

  

On May, 21, 2016, I Abbie Cannon made a hole in one and here is how it happened.
As I was approaching hole number 8 at the Riverside Golf Course I looked at the ball and it said HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. Then I looked up to tee my ball thinking it would be a normal shot. After I went and took a practice swing I aimed for the hole. Taking a deep breath you heard the sound of the club hitting the ball and by then it was up and off in the air. As I looked up in the air it seemed as if it was heading toward the left sand bunker it ended up ono the green and bounced a couple times before it went in.
I turned around thinking it would be by the flag and then I heard everyone shout then I looked at the green and did not see my ball. By then I ran right toward my dad gave him a big hug and started crying. Tears of joy came running down my face. I felt so happy and the feeeling of a 12 year old girl having that grand of a shot is better than almost anything in the world.
This grand day will always be remebered in the family as a day of thanks to the Lord for giving me such a great opportunity to go and show my great talent He provided for me.
 

What are you going to do on Olympic Day - June 23?

Olympic Day gives young people the opportunity to move, learn and discover Olympic sports and interact with different kids from around the St. Louis area. On Thursday, June 23, kids will have the opportunity to try their hands at gymnastics events, weightlifting, rowing, track and field events and much, much more.

There is no charge to participate in Olympic Day. We only ask that the participating child be at least seven-years-old. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on June 23 on the Chaifetz Arena grounds in midtown St. Louis. Watch the preview video below to get an idea of what Olympic Day is all about.
CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO CHALLENGE for OLYMPIC DAY

To register your summer camp or other youth organization for Olympic Day, please call 314-345-5130 or email salexander@stlsports.org. Youth groups are also eligible for a special ticket offer involving the 2016 Men’s Olympic Gymnastics Trials and the Women’s P&G Championships held at Chaifetz Arena June 23-26. Just ask about it when you contact us about Olympic Day.

    

Each one of our Olympic athletes had a first day trying their chosen sport. Who’s to say June 23 can’t be your kid’s first day? Don’t miss Olympic Day. Register now!
 

Mutual Respect - Concern - Fortitude all earn Random Acts of Sportsmanship Awards

Random Acts of Sportsmanship (RAS) Awards were given for some very different reasons the past two weekends.

First, Queen of All Saints 3rd Grade Boys baseball coach, Rich Sargent, wrote to nominate and commend an umpire his team has had a number of times this season at Our Lady Queen of Peace field.  Her name is Katie Jolliff.  The random act was when Katie came up to coach Sargent and asked if she could buy a small treat for each player on his team from the concession stand.  She told him she really enjoyed umpiring his team and that his players were very respectful.  He was truly touched by her offer.  By her actions and statements, Katie also recognized The Queen of All Saints team for being respectful to their teammates, their opponents, all coaches and umpires.  So both Umpire Katie and the QAS team will receive a RAS.

Second, late in the second half of the Lacrosse game a St. Michael's player, behind the play,  was having problems breathing.  Grace Murphy, a St. Clement's player notice her struggling and immediately got the attention of the umpires to stop the game.  She went over to the girl and comforted her as she went down to one knee.  The game was stopped, the coaches came onto the field to calm and aid the player who eventually got to her feet and left the game.  The St. Michael's goalie, Krista Spies, who had come up to aid her teammate turned and genuinely thanked Grace for helping her teammate.  So for Grace's concern and caring and Krista's gesture of gratitude, both girls will receive a RAS.

Finally, a RAS is awarded to the Our Lady of Festus first year lacrosse team for their  great effort in their game on Sunday.  Our Lady was taking on Immacolata, both teams hadn't lost a game all year.  Immacolata had a full load of players, over 20.  Our Lady had just enough, 10.  So no subs, no rest, a full game of lacrosse.  Now if you know anything about lacrosse, you realize it is a running sport.  Played on a field almost the size of a soccer field, a player will often run 50 to 60 yards at a time.  So without subs, the Our Lady girls were in for a full game of running.  They never complained.  They played their hardest.  They ran from start to finish.  Yes, they were tired by the end.  However both teams played a great game, which finished with a 6-5 score. 

We invite you to send us note when you see a Random Act of Sportsmanship at the CYC game you are attending.  Just email a brief explanation to buzzswanston@archstl.org .  We want to recognize and reward  the sportsmanship displayed.  That is such an important part of CYC Sports.  We believe Good Sportsmanship makes Great Sports!    

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