Usually, a young baseball player doesn’t get the opportunity to play for his school until he reaches his freshman year in high school but for the Yukon baseball program, they like to get them started early.
Yukon Middle School’s incoming eight-graders are getting a rare treat in learning from the Yukon High School baseball coaches, as they have a team in the Red Dirt League in the junior high division.
Dakota Haines is the head coach for the young Millers and they are having a successful summer thus far, as they had a 17-4 overall record going into the Father’s Day weekend tournament.
Haines said it has been a good summer for the young ball players.
“They are doing really well,” Haines said. “They are growing each day and they continue to work hard. They all have great attitudes and are eager to get better.”
Haines said the biggest difference between coaching the high school players versus the middle school players is the time they get to be around the players.
“We get to see the high school guys all the time,” Haines said. “We can’t do that with these guys yet, so we are still in the process of getting to know each other. They are trying to get to know me and I am trying to get to know them, but we have meshed well as a team so far this summer.”
The Yukon junior high baseball team has roughly 12 games remaining on the summer schedule with two tournaments and four league games left to play.
The Yukon eighth-graders are playing against other schools in the Oklahoma City metro area ranging from the 4A level to the 6A level.
Haines said it is good for the young Millers to get to be around the program.
“They are getting to play on our high school field, and getting to get a taste of what it takes to be successful at the high school level,” Haines said. “It’s definitely going to payoff for them in the future. A lot of them are still playing at the little league level whenever we are not playing, so it is good to teach them how we do things at the next level.”
Once the season is over, Haines said he wants to see his young players up around the program and watching.
“They won’t be able to practice with us, but we encourage them to come and be around the older guys and to be around the program,” Haines said. “It’s good for them to see how the older players are doing things.”