Tanner, on the mound…checks the second base runner. He assumes the pitcher’s stance. His bended leg draws up. As he lunges leg and arm toward his target, he hurls a fast ball…it’s high and inside.
The batter swings! It’s a high fly to Trevor in left center. After the crack of the bat, Trevor had tracked the ball and adjusted his position in the field to where it would fall.
With ease, he pulls in the ball, and then…with force…he shoots it back to the infield. The baseball bullet hits the bull’s eye…the third baseman. The Utah Highlanders Green have stopped the runner from advancing, holding him at second.
This is not an unusual scenario for Trevor Volkert and Tanner Johnson from Morgan Utah. The Utah Highlanders Green is arguably the best team of 12 year olds in Utah.
At the beginning of last year, as 11 year olds, a competing team, Utah Storm were said to be the best team in their age group in Utah. Highlanders and Storm have now played twice this year. Highlanders won both games.
The Highlanders Green team has had an extremely successful season so far, playing in six tournaments…winning three and runner up in two.
They made a good showing June 4-11 in Cooperstown, New York, where 104 teams from all over the country met to compete.
The boys played up a year and placed second in the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball League at March Madness in St. George.
They also placed first at Spring Fling in South Jordan Utah Union, first in Ogden Triple Crown, second in Idaho Falls Triple Crown, and first place in the Morgan, Utah Classic Triple Crown.
When the team signed up to play for the Ogden City League this year, they split up. Later, they reunited as the All Stars to represent Ogden in the Cal Ripken Utah State Playoffs. If they win State, they will go to Long Beach, California at the end of July, where they will be representing Utah in the Major 70 Regional’s.
The Utah Highlanders Green is part of the USA Baseball Academy. The UBA is one of the biggest youth baseball organizations in America and is involved with baseball’s Junior Olympics, Triple Crown Sports, and many other baseball organizations. The Academy provides many teams for players to hone their skills.
They also have showcased “Elite” teams… like, the Utah Highlanders… to promote and train talented youth players who want to continue baseball in high school, college, and even at the professional levels. They UBA not only promote improving player’s baseball skills, they also promote having good academic skills and achieving high grades.
The Utah Highlanders Green is the Northern Utah Elite Team with players from Centerville, Farmington, Layton, South Weber, Syracuse, Ogden, Brigham City, and of course, Morgan. The Salt Lake Elite Team, the Utah Highlanders Blue, as well as the developmental teams, are also affiliated with this organization.
Both Trevor and Tanner have expressed a desire to continue playing ball. They are excited and proud to be a part of the Utah Highlanders Team. They know that if they stick with it, they will develop more than just baseball skills, they’ll develop skills for life.