Extreme Black Diamonds youth baseball team wins state championship
Special to the Daily
The Summit Extreme Black Diamonds U12 baseball team recently achieved a feat that few youth baseball teams, especially those from Summit County, ever accomplish.
On June 28, Summit won the 2015 12U AA Continental Amateur Baseball Association Colorado State Tournament in Golden. It was the first-ever state championship victory for the Summit Extreme Baseball program.
In the tournament, Summit lost a game early that put the young team’s season on the line. The players and coaches knew that if they suffered one more loss, they would not likely advance to the next round. Luckily, it wasn’t the first time the team had faced adversity.
Summit Extreme started its season with new coach, Spencer Davidson. Davidson, a 19-year-old former player from Iowa, blew his knee out while playing baseball in high school and decided to coach the U12 team so he could continue being involved in the sport. Throughout the season Davidson was a leader for the team, helping them weather many storms.
“The kids respected and really liked him. He was solid, he gave them a lot of great skills to work on,” assistant coach Barry Cibula said.
“He turned us from individual players into a team,” Black Diamonds players Foster Krueger said.
Summit to Golden
The road to the championship, however, was a long one. When the team entered its first tournament in the spring, it was everyone’s first time playing outdoors and they lost all four games they played.
They continued to develop though, and by June they were playing competitively against some of the best teams in the state.
“Spencer helped the catchers frame pitches and gave the team a foundation to take their game to the next level,” Cibula said.
Two weeks before state, Davidson chose to leave the team when he was offered an opportunity to play college baseball. Despite moving back to Iowa, Davidson kept in contact with the players and did a conference call with the team while in the dugout before the championship.
“It was a very emotional experience talking to them,” Davidson said. “I told them how proud I was of them and just to have fun out there.”
“It got our emotions going…my eyes were definitely tearing up…But that helped us peak,” player Cameron Kolaf said.
“After that kids were like, ‘Let’s do it for Spencer,’” Cibula said.
Summit went on to beat the Highlands Ranch Drillers 8-2 in the title game.
“It was such a fun day,” Cibula said. “They just pulled it through, every kid contributed…almost everyone pitched an inning throughout the tournament.”
The team is now looking for a former player to be a coach for the team this fall. Those interested should contact Barry Cibula at (970) 485-3048.
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