Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Patriots serve their community

Jeff Dahn        

JUPITER, Fla. – For the past several days on the grounds of the Roger Dean Complex, the Dallas Patriots have been concentrating on nothing but baseball.

The Patriots won their first three games at the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship and were poised to move into Sunday afternoon’s first playoff round as champions of their pool.

Baseball has been the team’s focus and Patriots Coach Logan Stout and his talented team were obviously enjoying being at the World Championship.

“Perfect Game does an amazing job,” Stout said after the Patriots beat Sandlot/Midwest Scout Team in pool play Saturday morning. “They give these kids an opportunity to be seen and get to the next level and they’re to applauded for that. Quite frankly, there’s not another organization out there that does it as good as Perfect Game does.

“They do a great job – great facilities, great ammenities – and we’re blessed to be a part of what they’re doing here, for sure.”

There are times, however, when baseball isn’t at the forefront of the Patriots’ endeavors. The organization reaches out to do as much as it can for its local Texas community.

The Dallas Patriots and Premier Baseball Academy – which the Patriots own – formed the Dalllas Patriots Foundation, which provides community service in around Plano, Texas. This past year the foundation partnered with The Family Place, Special Olympics and the Colin County (Texas) Shelter to provide much needed services.

The foundation also helps its baseball players.

“We have a couple of simple principles,” Stout said. “No. 1, we don’t ever want money to be a reason a kid can’t play. It costs a lot, but I can guarantee a kid has never been turned away – if he was good enough – because he couldn’t afford it.”

The second principle, Stout said, was to teach the players that if they are going to be a Patriot they are going to be involved in the community. The Special Olympics were held at the academy in Plano, there was a book drive that collected over 1,200 books for The Family Place, and they have the Dallas Patriots Christmas coming up where they provide meals for the homeless.

“I’m most proud of these kids because they’re amazing players but above that they’re amazing human beings, and they care,” Stout said. “They’re great teammates and to me that’s a heck of a lot more important than how good a baseball player you are.”

Stout continued: “That’s what we try to teach these kids. Respect everybody – fear no one but respect everyone – and play the game the right way. At the end of the day, are you pleasing your Maker, are you pleasing your family, are you pleasing your teammates, are you pleasing your coach and then, are you pleasing yourself?”

The Dallas Patriots organization came into being in 2000 and Stout said every player who has come through the program has been given the opportunity to play college baseball.

The team that is playing in the World Championship features nine players with commitments to Division I schools, including two each to Texas, Rice, LSU and New Mexico.

The Patriots top players are arguably shortstop Trevor Story (2011, Irving, Texas), right-hander John Curtiss (2011, Southlake, Texas) and outfielder Joshua Bell (2011, Irving, Texas).

Perfect Game has Story ranked as the nation’s No. 53 top prospect (No. 5 in Texas), Curtiss as 59-8 and Bell as 60-9.  Curtiss and Bell have committed to Texas and Story to LSU.

Stout knows these guys are extemely talented baseball players and tries to mold that talent into making them impressive young men.

“Baseball is a vehicle where we can teach these guys about life,” he said. “At the end of the day, God didn’t put you on this earth to hit doubles or to throw 95. At the end of the day, we’re all called to a higher standard, and I want these guys to be great parents, I want them to be great students now, I want them to be great husbands when the time comes. For us, that’s what the Patriots are grounded upon.”

The Patriots are at the WWBA World Championship for the first time in the program’s history because they won the WWBA South Qualifier in Round Rock, Texas, in early October.

“We want to be involved in as many Perfect Game events as we possibly can,” Stout said. “This is our first year we get to come too Jupiter, and I promise we’ll be back anytime they’ll let us. We’re grateful for everything (Perfect Game) does for the game and we’d love to be a part of everything they’ve got going on.”

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