Baseball: Collegians happy to spread the game through youth camps

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Brody Simpson, 9, works on his pitching technique during a Boulder Collegians Youth Camp at the Iris Ballfields in Boulder on Tuesday. Go to for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Sean Williams, 11, makes a catch in center field under the watch of Boulder Collegians players during a Boulder Collegians Youth Camp at the Iris Ballfields in Boulder on Tuesday. Go to for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder Collegians infielder Danny Davis throws a pitch to a batter during whiffle ball scrimmage at a Boulder Collegians Youth Camp at the Iris Ballfields in Boulder on Tuesday. Go to for more photos.



Boulder Collegians baseball player Danny David Linahan was more than happy to serve up a couple of whiffle ball bombs on Tuesday morning at the Iris baseball fields in north Boulder.

In his second go-round with the Collegians, the BoCo summer team that competes in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League, Linahan has come to embrace the idea of being an ambassador for the team as well as for the game of baseball.

Respecting the game on the field is one thing for the Collegians, but team general manager Matt Jensen has made it a point to get players to come to Colorado from colleges all over the country with the understanding that they could have a big impact on the youth players around Boulder County.

The youth camps the organization puts together twice a summer is a perfect blend of getting players out in the community and getting kids to realize their potential from an early age. Tuesday was the start of a three-day camp that most if not all of the Collegians will help run, and there is another similar camp in July that still has open registration.

“We get to represent the Collegians and it’s an awesome opportunity to give back, for sure,” said Linahan, who was given the task of overseeing the camp with his veteran status and a desire to coach in the future. “These are the kids that are always at our games, they’re our bat boys, they’re the last ones leaving the stands every night. At some point, we were all that kid whether we’re from Texas, Alaska, California … it’s fun to get to play with kids of all ages and all skill levels.

“We’re from all over the place, and to be able to come together to give to this one community is awesome. We get to make new relationships, but we know it’s really bigger than us.”

With the help of Brett Manning, the first head coach for the Collegians, the camps have existed every year since the establishment of the current version of the team six years ago. In addition to volunteering at the Bolder Boulder, the youth camps come as one of the other ‘must-do’s’ for incoming Collegians players — many of whom have no ties to Boulder whatsoever.

The whiffle ball game at the end of Tuesday’s session marked the lighter side of the day, while earlier portions of the clinic featured groundball work, fly ball work, pitching and hitting mechanics.

With more and more youth players veering off the traditional path of little leagues and getting into academy and select travel teams at an earlier age, Linahan said he was elated to work with a group of boys from little leagues all around the area.

Jensen said the camp is geared toward those kids, hoping that BoCo baseball in general can benefit in the long run from the exposure to student-athletes that have found success in the game.

“Little league is kind of a lost deal now with all the select ball it seems, so seeing these kids come out, it’s really the purest form of the game, I think,” said Linahan, a Texas native who attends NCAA Division III Hardin-Simmons. “They’re just having fun. There’s no stats. It’s refreshing.”

“The camps have been a staple of our outreach … and what’s great about it is we see kids from Coal Creek, South Boulder, Longmont baseball, different competitive teams all with different jerseys out here but all as one community,” Jensen added. “That’s what the Collegians try to embody.”

The next set of sessions will be July 10-12, also at the Iris Fields, and the cost to attend is $150. Interested parties can register at

Jensen said the big draw for the camps is the ratio of player-coaches to attendees.

“We want to have those connections between the youth and our players, and really the connection our players get with the youth, they get to be kids again themselves,” he added. “We have the ability to create a ratio that’s going to provide a unique experience for kids.”

Adam Dunivan: or

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. Although we do not pre-screen comments, we reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.

If you see comments that you find offensive, please use the “Flag as Inappropriate” feature by hovering over the right side of the post, and pulling down on the arrow that appears. Or, contact our editors by emailing