Even after 20+ years of coaching baseball and having the privilege of working with more than 3,000 players in my day, it is always rewarding when one of our Blue Wavers earns a college scholarship, something that will impact and define any young man for life.
It’s even better when it’s one of those kids you liked a lot and truly enjoyed watching him play.
Riverside Polytechnic High School senior Justin Adame is just that kind of kid, who I secretly named “the Penguin” after Dodger great Ron Cey.
Like Cey, Justin has those short muscular legs that are surprisingly faster than they appear and give him great leverage and power at the plate. Also like Cey, he works hard, always hustling to get an out, working to get a hit and drive in a run to help the team.
He’s also the kid that loves to play the game, always smiling when he is playing and can never play enough, though he always makes time for his academics and keeps his grades up.
And, the best thing about Baseball is guys like that get rewarded, Justin is now headed for Lakeland University in Wisconsin on a Dean’s List scholarship worth $36,000 per year.
“Pound-for-pound, Justin is the top player in our program,” Riverside Polytechnic HS Coach Gary Voelker told FieldLevel.com, the popular online recruiting service. “Relentless worker (Justin) not only making himself better but helping make every player in the program better. Will one day be an outstanding coach.”
Coach Voelker’s high appraisal of his varsity starting catcher and infielder drew plenty of attention on FieldLevel.com, a baseball recruiting platform that Blue Wave also uses to promote players to colleges throughout the U.S.
FieldLevel allows players to keep their recruiting profiles online, where they can post their academic information, highlight videos, baseball career highlights, and recommendations from their high school and club baseball coaches.
Justin joined FieldLevel in April, 2015, and targeted 29 different programs. Before committing to Lakeland University in November, he appeared in 371 searches, reeived 57 profile views, and was followed by 17 college teams, including nine NCAA D3, three NAIA, three CCCAA, and two NCAA D2 college programs.
“It's been an amazing time for Justin,” his father Al Adame exclaimed. “Thank you and Blue Wave Baseball. We are forever thankful to all of you!”
No Al, thank you for letting Justin play with us, we’re just one piece of the puzzle.