FORT SMITH (KFSM) - Around 60 baseball players tried out for one of a few spots on the Fort Smith Sportsman junior and senior squad this year but head coach Trey Prieur relied on more than just the tryouts to pick his roster of 18 for the senior team.
"We rely heavily on tryouts we rely heavily on watching during the high school season," said Prieur. "Then talking to high school coaches because we realize this is an overall process not just what they are doing in a week’s time."
In the past three seasons, the Sportsman have put together an 87-14 record and that’s helped them gain even more interest from local talent.
"We are very fortunate to have a bunch of players come through here lately," said Prieur. "We have some really good records the last few years and so that’s another reason why our names getting back out there."
The Fort Smith Sportsman have become known for helping develop their players for the next level. In just three years over 20 former and current players and have made it onto a college roster.
"They know what kind of ball player we are going to produce," said Prieur. "That’s one of the things that not only helps us out but helps the kid out."
Daniel Demondesert redshirted this past season at UAFS and he’s using his final season with the Sportsman to help him be at his best for the Lions next season.
"I would get to work on a little more stuff and I would be close to coach Holland if I needed to work on anything for him," said Demondesert. "I decided to stay here I can’t speak enough about it. It’s been a heck of a program and we have had a good couple of years it’s really a winning program too."
While continuing a winning tradition is important to the team, Prieur who has been with the program for seven years, also wants to see his players grow on and off the field this summer while having fun.
"We want to be good baseball players, good citizens, good young men," said Prieur. "Turning them into good adults it’s just fun it’s laid back we enjoy the game we compete we have fun with it."