There’s nothing quite like summer baseball. In 2022, Broomfield will get to experience that firsthand when the Barn Owls come to town for their inaugural season as part of the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League.
The team, which will mostly be comprised of Broomfield-area high school alumni and college players looking to develop a bit more, will join a competitive league — which includes the Boulder Collegians — and will make the Broomfield High School field their home from June 1 through the end of July.
After seeing the joy that playing ball together brought the Broomfield baseball team during its state tournament run last year, co-general managers Brett Brakel and Jason Oswald decided to do something to make sure the seniors’ ride together wouldn’t have to end. They reached out to Amanda Kubec, who handles the league operations as president of the MHCBL and the Barn Owls were born.
“Jason Oswald and I, we inquired to see what it would take to bring an expansion franchise here,” Brakel said. “We went through that and Amanda was very much on board, came out and checked out the facility. We just wanted to provide a place for local alumni to come back and play in front of their parents for another summer. So often, they go off to college and their parents can see them here or there, but not like they did in high school or not like they did with our kids.”
Eagles alumnus Erik Lockwood, who currently teaches and coaches at Mountain Range High School and played for University of the Pacific, will serve as the Barn Owls’ manager as he looks to help his players improve in whatever area currently stunts their games the most, whether it be hitting, fielding, or just needing more reps.
Kubec is thrilled to see what the MHCBL’s newest team can bring to the table in its family of 10 to 12 teams. She estimates that each team will get to play 30 games in the seven-week period, and Brakel believes the group he’s already pulled together will have a good chance to win the league and qualify for the coveted National Baseball Congress World Series.
“For us, from a territory standpoint, adding a team in Broomfield made perfect sense,” Kubec said. “We’ve had teams come and go from that area but working directly with Brett, it’s really become clear that they want to be not only community-focused but really make a name for themselves in that territory.”
For Brakel and Oswald, community is the name of the game for the type of experience they hope to bring to the city come June. Though admission will be free for all, fans will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in other ways.
“We’re going to try to up it a little bit,” Brakel said. “Every home run or very foul ball that a kid can bring back, they’re going to get a piece of bubble gum. We’re going to have food trucks come out and baseball and softball programs are going to run the concession stand. We’ll have raffles where we’ll send guys who aren’t pitching or playing that night into the stands with a roll of tickets, a can and a smile to sell some raffle tickets and give away some merch.”
Thanks to Broomfield baseball coach Kale Gilmore, and all the work he’s put into improving the facilities as of late, the Barn Owls will have everything they need when they come back to town for their first season as a franchise.