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Middle school baseball developmental program looking for local talent

Story by Luke Strickland

Friday, February 20, 2015

STOCKBRIDGE — Satchel Paige ATL Travel Baseball and the LaDanian Tomlinson Preparatory Academy will be sponsoring the first LTPA National Elite Baseball Program.

The LTPA National Elite Baseball Program is for student-athletes from the age of 10 to 18.

The program will feature instructional tools for all positions, as well as work on each player’s speed and agility. It will also include recruiting tools, information and general tips to success on the field and in life.

Karl Brooks is the program director for Satchel Paige ATL Baseball and the chairman of the board for Piper Davis Youth Baseball and will be partnering with LTPA.

“I have partnered with LaDanian Tomlinson Prep Academy to provide an opportunity for middle school developmental baseball programs for the south metro Atlanta area, specifically with Clayton and Henry county student-athletes,” he said via email.

Brooks played baseball at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore before injuries derailed his baseball career prematurely. He moved to Georgia, and began to work in youth baseball.

He was approached to run a post-graduate baseball program from 2010 to 2012, where he recruited over 100 players to participate in his program. Those players came from all over the map, including the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Brooks also served as the Georgia State Commissioner of the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League from 2012 to 2014.

The program includes enrolment in the LTPA, at least 10 tournaments, travel expenses, equipment, academic tutoring, SAT/ACT prep, player marketing/recruitment, indoor facility and professional training and development.

The cost is $1,600 for students age 10 to 14.

For a better idea of what the program has to offer, interested parties can attend a professional baseball clinic and evaluation at Hidden Valley Park in Stockbridge on Saturday, Feb. 28, and Sunday, March 1. The action will start at noon Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The camp costs $50 per player for both days, and $35 for one day.

Brooks will be on hand to lead the festivities, along with Andrew Dixon, a former San Francisco Giant, and Rafel Skeete, a former member of the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers.

Teams will compete in the Piper Davis League in conjunction with the Bruce Holmes Athletic Association. The squads will also have the opportunity to participate in the Piper Davis National Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., this July.

“The purpose of the middle school league is to prepare baseball student athletes for the next level in not only the game of baseball, but academic success to and through college,” said Brooks on the program’s website.

“This will be the first annual LTPA National Elite Baseball Academy in Georgia thanks to Director Karl Brooks and his staff at Satchel Paige ATL Travel Baseball,” said Tomlinson in a press release. "We’re committed to helping student-athletes enhance their performance both on the field and in the classrooms by providing parents and students with the information they need to build their plan academically to obtain a NCAA athletic scholarship.”

For further information, contact Brooks at mrkbrooks21@gmail.com, or visit his website at www.atl247.homestead

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