The Carson High baseball program will have a chance to really make a name for itself during the off season thanks to three players.
Carson has no less than three players who have been chosen to participate in the Puma USA All-American Tournament to be held Jan. 13-15 in Tucson, Ariz. Shortstop Kevin Schlange, outfielder Royal Good and pitcher-outfielder Tony Fagan have all been chosen for the event.
Out of 5,000 players from across the country, only 180 players were selected for the event, which will be attended by scouts from every Major League team and college coaches. In addition, Schlange has also been chosen to participate in a Goodwill Series in Sydney and Perth, Australia.
Schlange was chosen from players from across the country to play for the 18 and under team sponsored by the Cincinnati Reds. Schlange will leave for Australia on Dec. 18 and will return on Jan. 2. In Australia, the 18 and under club will play against college and semipro teams from Australia, Japan and Korea.
Schlange received the chance to play in Australia when he tried out for the Area Code Games last summer. While he didn't make it to the Area Code Games, considered the nation's top showcase for high school players, his performance at the tryouts earned him a spot on the team heading for Australia.
"It just really was a real good opportunity," said Schlange about going to Australia. "It's exciting. It's going to be a lot of fun, especially since it's summer over there."
Good and Schlange, both seniors, earned spots in the tournament in Tucson through their tryouts in Vacaville, Calif. Fagan, a junior, earned a spot in the event as a result of his playing for the International Baseball Academy of California team, a top development program for high school players. Fagan's IBAC coach is also with Baseball Factory, a sponsor of the event in Arizona. Even though Fagan is a junior and the event is mainly for seniors, Fagan's coach still recommended him for the event.
Fagan threw last weekend at a Baseball Factory training day in Santa Ana, Calif., and his fastball was clocked in the high 80s. "This weekend I threw strong," Fagan said.
Schlange said the exposure the three players receive will not only be good for them, but the Carson program as a whole. "It's going to bring publicity to Carson," he said. "It's going to show how good we are."
If they do well in Tucson, Schlange said that may encourage more coaches and scouts to come to Carson to look at all of the players in the program.
The obvious goal for Schlange is to earn a Division I scholarship and he hopes the Tucson tournament will help him reach his goal.
"If we do well, we'll be on coaches radars," Schlange said. "I'm definitely looking for a Division I school. Hopefully if I do well, then I'll be picked up."
Schlange said he's not concerned about expectations being raised by the off season attention some Carson players are receiving because the expectations at Carson are always high.
"We have more experience," said Schlange about this year's team. "I feel that we'll do really well this year."
IDAHO STATE RECRUITING TAYLOR, WALTHER
Idaho State, a Division I-AA school that plays in the Big Sky Conference, is recruiting two Carson High offensive linemen in football, Zach Taylor and Eric Walther. Idaho State offensive line coach Bruce Barnum came to visit Taylor and Walther at school and at their homes on Tuesday.
Carson coach Shane Quilling said Barnum told him the Bengals are looking to bring in seven to eight offensive linemen and should be able to tell Taylor and Walther where they stand by the end of next week. The signing period for football players will be in February.