Junction City Athletic Training Center with the support of the R2B4 Bramlage Family Foundation, has worked to upgrade the local Baseball Academy facility in the Westside Shopping Center just off West 6th Street. It is has been named the Upper Deck Sports Academy.
Training Center Director Rick Bazan said there are six bays and netting systems, a dugout, meeting room, video monitors, full paint throughout the 20,000 square foot facility, new field turf, carpet and laminate wood flooring, upgraded lighting, an audio system, large banners, updated pitching machine and coaches locker room for storage for the teams.
Bazan said the facility is for teams but there will be some open hitting. "But we designed it for better flow so that when we do have traveling teams we can get more sessions in the evening, so we can open it up to more people in the community. So we are planning on having some open nights where anybody can go up and hit and train up there."
Bazan said the Academy is impressive. " Our goal was to give more opportunity to the baseball, softball players and teams. We wanted to provide a top line training academy and ultimately inspire our youth. Give these kids something to be proud of, essentially to make it their house and want to be able to take ownership of it."
Bazan said they have created a flow where teams can overlap but not encounter each other which creates more opportunities each evening. "We're trying to get not only all the baseball traveling teams but the softball as well. And we also want to create some time for the city league. " Bazan added they want to have some camps and clinic for those players as well and an opportunity to use the facility.
Bazan indicated officials plan to start use of the academy facility approximately Dec. 1.
The Junction City Athletic Training Center is located at 935 East 4th, and includes facilities for activities such as wrestling, youth boxing, outdoor batting cages and obstacle course. Mathis Rehab is also located in that facility.
( Photos courtesy of Rick Bazan )