Deer Park witnesses comings, goings
By Jason McDaniel
Clay Boone took part in the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association's all-star festivities last week, punctuating a stellar two-year career at Deer Park.
But in the same week he celebrated his stint with the club, the Deer learned that future star Cole Bedford was selected for the 14U National Team Trials at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Bedford, an incoming freshman catcher
right-handed pitcher, will be on USA Baseball's 40-man for the Trials from July 13 through 17. He's competing for one of 18 spots on the 14U National team.
As a youngster, you have aspirations for things that you hope you can do, goals that you try to achieve, and he's been fortunate enough to be selected to have a chance to achieve one of those goals," Deer Park coach Emrick Jagneaux said.
Jagneaux has had his eye the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Junior Olympic player for two years now and he likes what he sees.
He's going to be a pretty good player," Jagneaux said. He's special. He's got a lot of talent and for a young guy he's very mature as far as baseball knowledge. He handles himself real well."
He also has plenty of natural ability.
He's got great skills," Jagneaux said. He catches the ball very well. He handles himself at the plate. He pitches. He can play infield. He's just an all-around baseball player.
You get some of them sometime in your lifetime, your coaching career, where guys can come in and excel right away, and I think he'll be able to do that, along with the other guys who we have on our team."
Jagneaux sees Bedford starting right away on varsity as a freshman next season if he acclimates quickly to the higher level play, which shouldn't be a problem. And there's a spot available.
Boone, who played catcher two seasons ago, and Nate Cano, the Deer's starting catcher last season, both just graduated.
He's coming in at the right time," Jagneaux said. We lost Clay Boone and Kano. Both of those guys caught for us last year and we're looking for a guy to step in, and if he's able to handle it we'll have him for four years.
If not we have another guy who we're going to try back there, but right now our intentions are for him to catch and spot pitch for us a little bit."
But first Bedford is looking to do a little of both with the United States National Team, which competes at the COPABE Pan Am A' 14U Championships from July 23 to Aug. 1 in Managua, Nicaragua.
He's got as good a chance as anybody," Jagneaux said. Those are just like showcases. You go up there and it's just the type of day that you have, and if he has a great day he has a great chance of making the team."
Boone's team of Southeast all-stars didn't have a great day in a 12-4 loss to their Northwest counterparts at the HABCA's all-star games at Reckling Park, but he played well, drawing Jagneaux's praise.
He's very deserving," he said. He played for us for two years. I put him behind the plate as a junior because we needed a catcher and he did a great job for us. Last year we were able to put Nate Cano behind the plate, with Clay at shortstop to solidify our defense, so he's been a great utility guy and he'll do well in college."
Boone, a quite leader who hit three home runs last season, is heading to Weatherford College along with teammate Justin Peters.
When I was at Westside I had two kids who went there, Corey Maltz and Freddy Villalobos, and Coach (Jeff) Lightfoot is committed to working with those guys, so he'll do well there," Jagneaux said.
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