Brighton’s Conner Reynolds had a choice of all-star games earlier this month.
He picked the one that was the farthest from home — the McAlester Junior Sun Belt Classic in McAlester, Okla. Nine teams from the United States participated. Reynolds’ squad went 4-5, the second-best showing for a team from Colorado in the tournament.
“I learned a lot, seeing the future of NCAA Division I baseball, being able to compare myself to the best in the country, learning practice drills and what they look for in the game,” he said. “I’m always looking to grow as a player and as a person. If someone said they don’t care what any of these players do to better themselves, they are just ignorant.
“There are always things that can help you improve,” he added. “But also, somehow I did get here, so something must be working.”
Reynolds said the tournament is a big plus for college recruiting.
“This is one of the biggest national level tournaments,” he said. “Every school needing a player for 2015, 2016, 2017 was there, from D-1s to junior colleges.
“I never thought the tournament would be so much fun,” Reynolds added. “I had the best time imaginable – playing on an old minor-league field and a top tier JUCO field, going noodling (catching a catfish with your bare hands) to going to an old Indian burial ground, it was a blast.”
Reynolds had some advice for younger players.
“I strongly suggest trying out for this tournament with Team Colorado,” he said. “I had the best time. The people were great. The baseball was even better. I have amazing memories, and it was an overall great experience. And I want to say thank you for everyone who helped me get this opportunity to represent Colorado in the Sun Belt Classic and for the Hearods (my host family) for opening up their home to me for a whole week, sharing their lives with me. This was something I will never forget.”
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