ENGLEWOOD - If Broomfield doesn't get what it wants this season, doesn't win the Front Range League or the Class 5A Championship Series, so be it.
However, James Notary wants no regrets. No excuses. No I-should-have-done-this stuff. No I-should-have-done-that rationalizing.
"If we play well, we have a good shot," the senior recently said at a Prep Baseball Report-Colorado showcase at Slammers South. "We just can't let the expectations get ahead of us. All of the little things matter. At practices now, it's about the smallest detail, we don't want to leave anything unturned and not do all of the little things. Nothing's too small, we can't let it get over our heads."
To illustrate his point, the Eagles, he said, used to throw gear "everywhere at practice, but now we're organized to the smallest detail, picking it up, trying to do the little things."
Being prepared and regimented is good, but being good on the mound helps more and Broomfield qualifies heading into 2017, which begins on Thursday. The Eagles will be led by Notary, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder who signed with TCU, and Blake Rohm (6-5, 190), a transfer from Monarch coming off Tommy John surgery who has signed with Virginia, both right-handers.
A year ago, Broomfield won the Front Range at 11-1 and was 13-6-1 overall. Notary was 4-1 with a 1.80 earned-run average. Potentially, he'll also hit anywhere in the lineup this year and will play at shortstop or third base when not on the mound.
Fourteen-year Eagles coach Garren Estes said he has been impressed with Notary's work ethic and can't wait to unleash the 1-2 (and in any order) of Notary and Rohm, and said Notary warrants the chance to play with the Horned Frogs.
The No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2017 by PBR-Colorado, Notary gave TCU a glimpse in a camp and he played for the Rockies scout team and the Diamond Club out of Arvada. TCU coaches liked what they saw, so did Notary of the Horned Frogs, and Estes can foresee it happening.
"I think so," the coach said. "It might not be an immediate thing. I can see him getting in the mix over the next couple of years. He'll need patience and hard work."
Notary said "you have to go in there and compete, nothing is guaranteed to anyone."
He's simply happy to be a product of an ever-evolving Colorado talent base.
"I think Colorado is up and coming big time," he said. "Our off-season programs have developed so much. We're getting on a level with other states."
First thing's first here at home, though, and that's having a strong regular season to set up a playoff run. Along with Rohm, the No. 8 PBR-Colorado senior, and a promising returning core, the Eagles are starved to improve over last season's early exit. They went down in the first round of districts to eventual state champion Cherokee Trail, a very tough draw and one of the quirks of the original RPI system that pitted two league champions against each other in the first round.
But the Eagles and Notary want no excuses or reasons to make any.
Broomfield has been a baseball town over the decades and Notary said he thinks "it's even more so now than ever, it's kind of buzzing. Everyone's excited for the season. People want to come to the games and there's a lot of pride there."