2018 Oklahoma Sunbelt Classic Tournament
Since its inception in 1998, over 200 players have moved on to the MLB. No wonder, the Oklahoma Sunbelt Classic is considered the top tournament for high school ball players in the US. The prestigious tournament began with a banquet on June 9 and finished June 15. It’s a 10 game tournament, in a 7 day span. State teams from Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, Mississippi and two teams from Oklahoma were entered. The event is heavily scouted with more than 50 college recruiters watching games at Mike Deake Field at McAlester High School and Eastern Oklahoma State College. This year, Arizona took home the bragging rights going undefeated. Canada finished in 6th place, with a 4-6 record, losing 3 times in walk off fashion, one of those to Arizona. This was one of the best Canadian teams in years as they never quit, said the head coach for the University of Tennessee. Shortstop Austin Gomm, turned a lot of heads earning an all tournament team, as he led Canada in every offensive category. Team Canada has had former big leaguer's such as John Axford, Chris Leroux and current minor leaguer, Zack Pop, suit up for the tournament. The 2018 Team Canada staff included long time GM Marc Picard, head coach Dean Dicenzo, assistants Rick Johnson, Brodie Jeffery and myself. Players had the wonderful experience of staying with billet families and were able to enjoy their off time riding in ATV’s and other activities. It sure was different back in 1998 when I played in the tournament, but one thing that is still the same was the high level of competition. Special thank you to Marc Picard for allowing me to be apart of the coaching staff.