The road to Santa Clara for recent Fairview grad Mitch Tyse has made a pit stop in Superior this summer. For Silver Creek's Austin Wood, training and playing with the Superior Rough Riders baseball team was the way to go before he ventures off to Furman University in the fall.
A monstrous new building off Highway 36 is the new home to Impact Sports Performance, which used to call the Broomfield Industrial Park its base. Impact is no stranger to the collegiate baseball scene, either, as it has been members of the Rocky Mountain Baseball League for the past several years now under different names.
With a unique weekly regimen that includes daily baseball-specific weight training and games only on the weekends, its reputation certainly seems to be growing in the area, though.
The fact is, there's a strange absence of baseball equipment around on most days the team gathers to work together, but Tyse wouldn't have it any other way.
"What I like about this team is that they trust that you, as a baseball player, will work on things like hitting, fielding and throwing on your own time. We get the facility to do that stuff, but the guided stuff, the stuff I need help with, is the training," Tyse, a two-time all-region outfielder for the Knights, said from the facility this past Tuesday. "We have trainers working us out, but we have plenty of time before and after to prepare ourselves the way we want.
"The priority is not going out and winning an RMBL championship. It's really what we do in (the gym) from 1 to 3 (p.m.) every day."
As a 2016 grad yet to fully immerse himself in the college atmosphere, Tyse fully believes he's getting a pretty good taste of it right now. And, he's got plenty of teammates on the Rough Riders who can relate their experiences to him.
Boulder grad Tommy Baumgartner is one of those teammates who came back this year from his freshman season at Emory University in Atlanta. He actually played in the RMBL last year with the Golden Grizz, but made an easy decision to join the Rough Riders when that chance came up this year.
Former BoCo players Jake Thoning (Fairview), Kyle Leahy (Erie) and Cason Winn (Silver Creek) also dot the roster. The team plays most of their home games at Regis University.
"I think the biggest difference between high school and college ball is the strength and speed of the game, and so doing this kind of development helps prepare young players to get ready for that change," Baumgartner said. "Some teams even within the league don't do a lot of formal work outside of games, so this is definitely different."
The local ties aren't limited to the playing roster. Legacy graduate Chad Povich, another player who benefitted greatly from Impact when he was a player, returned to coach the team this season.
Povich, who was drafted twice during his college years and signed with the Boston Red Sox after his junior campaign, agreed to come back because of the big-picture mentality owner Rylan Reed has for the players that jump on board.
"Being fresh out of the game, it's cool to be able to relate my experiences to these guys who have aspirations of playing college and pro ball," Povich said. "This program really builds a good routine that enables them to perform at a high level.
"It's so easy as a baseball player to just kind of plateau. We try and surround them with people who know baseball and what it takes to get to those next levels. The games we play are opportunities to apply everything on the field."
Through the organization's Junior Slugger program, the Rough Riders have also developed a way for potential players to have an affordable option, too. For eight weeks, the players volunteer a few hours a week to work individually with youth on position-specific drills and other types of training.
For Tyse, there's a lot of fun in being involved from that perspective, as well.
"Instead of us giving them money and having a player's fee, we work it off through running clinics for kids," Tyse said. "We get to teach them how to hit but at the same time just have a lot of fun with them. I feel like I get so much more out of this than paying to play travel ball."