While the Golden Baseball season (usually) is limited to March, April and May, the competition is always on for players looking to earn a college scholarship.
Unfortunately, that reality is one that can give Golden players a disadvantage when it comes to competing against players from warmer climates.
“I always tell my guys’ you’re not competing for a scholarship of any kind in Lakewood,” said head coach Jackie McBroom. “You compete with a kid in Austin, Texas who has the opportunity to go outside all the time.”
But while Goldene’s players will never have that ability, they will soon have what McBroom describes as the second best: a 110-meter-long and 28-meter-wide building where they can practice hitting, throwing and other skills all year round.
McBroom said the facility will have two cages where players can practice hitting, but that you can probably have up to six boys doing something there, depending on what they do.
Such a facility is something that McBroom has long believed necessary for Golden High – and any other school that wants to maximize the player’s chances of success both on the high school diamond and beyond.
Now the project is on its way to hopefully being finished by the end of the school year and definitely until next winter when there will be a need for the players, he said.
“It’s been working for about a year, but we now hope to break ground by February or March,” McBroom said. “There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of paperwork, a lot of emails, but now it’s actually starting to happen.”
To make the indoor facility a reality, McBroom and the team’s booster club first had to start raising the $ 110,000 it would cost to design it and get it started with equipment.
To do so, they asked for donations from player families, local businesses and other community supporters, while launching a campaign to sell customizable bricks to be installed outside the team’s field at the school.
McBroom said they have raised enough money to build the building thanks to the outpouring of community support. However, they still collect donations to cover the cost of netting and other equipment.
“We have been lucky to have a couple of local businesses that have either donated more money than most, or they have voluntarily promoted their expertise with drawings or donating materials and such, which has been great for us.”
Golden High will be the second school in Jefferson County to have such a facility behind Dakota Ridge, which will have an identical one. However, several other schools in other districts around the state also have such a facility.
“There is a lot of competition to acquire and retain players not only between high schools, but also with private clubs,” said Rob Owens, fundraising manager for the project. “Having this type of facility is really an important step to get players interested in Golden High School and get a good competition program for the players.”
But McBroom said the use of the facility will not be limited to high school players, as he plans to use it to host “a small camp or something like that” for youth players.
These youth players, in turn, could one day become the future stars of the Demons.
“Jackie is building a great program and this will help him keep going,” Owens said.