Tournaments | Story | 7/1/2019

NW Futures, Coast-to-Coast

Autumn Jones        
Photo: NW Futures Select (Perfect Game)

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The 2019 13u BCS National Championships has brought along a great deal of talent, including a devoted team that traveled the farthest to get here and stands by togetherness, NW Futures Select.

NW Futures is a baseball academy located in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Wash., consisting of 18 teams ranging from 9u-18u. Being located in the Pacific Northwest, the team doesn’t see much opportunity to play teams from the Southeastern part of the United States. This year’s annual event marks four years that the organization has made their way to Fort Myers to compete in the BCS tournament, and each and every year they gain valuable lessons. 

“I really see a lot of value in this event for our academy”, said President of NW Futures, Nik Lubisich. “There is great baseball played all around our country, and oftentimes, many people from our area hold other parts of the country on a pedestal, as they see many strong collegiate conferences and minor league professional venues on the other side of our country.”

This organizations believes that going up against some of the more dominant academies in the Southeast offers the children an insight to how baseball is played outside of their area. 

“I believe in bridging their region with others in the States so that their families and children can see that we can compete with anyone, anywhere, anytime,” added Lubisich. Every year we run into great competition in this event, and win or lose, there are lessons, experiences, and values to be taken back home with us.”

Furthermore, this program stands by “organic baseball,” reasoning why they don't tack extra kids on the team’s roster for national events.

“We start each season with a group of committed young boys and families, and we embark on a great journey together enjoying experiences along the way,” said Lubisich.

Speaking of families, their commitment to this organization is a demonstration of its loyalty, considering the majority of this 13u team have been playing together since they were 10-years-old. This is the second national trip that this 13u Select team has competed in, while last year they took their talents to the West Coast, competing in the Xtreme Diamond World Series in San Diego, Calif. 

Lubisich grew up in the Pacific Northwest region where D-I collegiate baseball and professional baseball was unfamiliar. From a talent standpoint he believes that the Pacific Northwest has always been overlooked in comparison to the rest of the country, particularly due to the smaller population and weather hurdles they face, with a ton of rain keeping them indoors throughout the majority of their year.

Accordingly, Lubisich envisioned to take along undiscovered talent of the Pacific Northwest and founded NW Futures after the completion of his professional career in the Chicago White Sox organization.

“There has always been a lot of talent, just like everywhere in the country, and I really wanted to do my part in cultivating that talent, doing whatever I could to help families connect with colleges and for those lucky enough, the world of professional baseball,” said Lubisich. “NW Futures has been that avenue for me, and I couldn't do any of it without the help of so many great people involved in our organization.”

NW Futures 13U Select sits (2-2-1) in the tournament and is set to take on Team Elite 13u Premier Monday morning. The team’s victories happened to be back-to-back shutouts where they tallied a considerable 24 runs. The one goal for this team, and any team in the program, is to compete to the best of their abilities, and play their game while having fun doing so.

“Winning and losing are bi-products of many little things that must be done by any team competition, so rather than focus on the result, we focus on the process,” said Lubisich.  “Our children work hard all season long not to win a specific event, but to improve each and every day. At 13-years-old, they get to board a plane, fly across the country, play on Major League Spring Training complexes - what more could a child ask for?”

But to this organization and team it’s even more than just that, Lubisich reflects on the everlasting impact of these Perfect Game tourneys.

“How fortunate we all are to do things like this, I love the experience they receive from Perfect Game and the BCS Championships,” concluded Lubisich. “It's a memory they will hold forever and one they will call upon as they use it to drive their futures in this game.”

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