Oranjestad, Aruba - This past January, 297 Baseball Academy held their annual Preseason Training Camp. One hundred and eight players from Aruba, Curacao, and the Netherlands were in attendance.
On January 11th and 12th, players came ready to play and improve their skills. The Training Camp was split into three sessions each day. In the morning, was ages 5 to 8. In the afternoon, was ages 9 to 12. In the evening, was ages 13 and above. To start off every session, Jason Oldham the Owner and Head Trainer at GLG Athletic Performance in Cumberland, Rhode Island brought the players through a strength and conditioning series. He taught the players the importance of injury prevention, nutrition, and proper exercises during a seminar at Centro di Bario Playa Pabou. Players then split into groups going from position to position learning how to be versatile in the field. Coaches Ryan Huntington and Joshua Simon instructed the pitchers with age appropriate drills. Coach Tyler Lafreniere instructed the catchers along with Coach Bryan Huntington. In the infield, was Founder Brodie Carey along with Jim Carey a professional scout for the Chicago Cubs. The outfield was led by Coaches Brendan Conley, Albee Fernandes, and Marshall Quinley. All players were outfitted with a 297 shirt, hat, and water bottle. Nutritional snacks and drinks were also provided by Martijn Trading.
The Preseason Training Camp was one to remember. Players from 297 Baseball Academy attracted international attention from collegiate and professional scouts. Nkosi Didder, a local right handed pitcher from Aruba, performed well on the mound attracting the eyes of many MLB scouts and colleges. Xanron Dijkhoff and Deven Vrolijk both have been in talks with colleges across the United States in hopes to continue their careers. Djouhdson St. Germain, Bernini Engelhardt, and Keith Hooker performed well once again showing tremendous improvement. There are many up and coming baseball players within the 297 Baseball Academy Program. In the coming years, it will be exciting to see what happens with these talented players. National television from Aruba also came out to cover the event. They documented the day filming players and interviewing multiple coaches. Newspapers from the United States documented the event based on interviews with Brodie Carey.
297 Baseball Academy seems stronger than ever and the future is looking bright for its players. The academy plans to host Aruba Baseball Weekend this coming August in hopes that the COVID-19 crisis calms down. As quoted by Brodie Carey, "We are taking it day by day hoping for the best. Our plans will always fall in line with local government orders and will protect the health of our players. For now I encourage everyone to stay up to date with us and hope that baseball will be back soon."