College Pursuit

Cascade senior, Brett Gillis signing his letter of intent with the University of Portland in 2018.

FCA is focused on helping its players pursue their passion to play college baseball.  Over 70% of our elite athletes have moved on to play at NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and Junior College programs.  We have a dedicated College Liaison who helps players and families navigate the questions and unknowns and avoid the common pitfalls and unnecessary expenses of pursuing collegiate baseball.  Our Liaison starts the conversation with the 13U players by reinforcing the importance of those factors that will set them up for success—academics, strength, fitness and nutrition in addition to baseball skills.

Why we stress academics? 

We know the first question the college coach is going to ask: “What’s your GPA?”

Coaches can’t afford an academic liability on their team; for this reason they appreciate and respect our encouragement, recognition and reward for those FCA student athletes who excel in the classroom.  FCA has a track record of attracting academically focused players, and we honor them at our annual November kick-off.  Team average GPAs are typically 3.5 and higher.  We have several players who graduate high school with 3.8+ GPAs.  Parents appreciate our club prioritization on academics, and many feel their sons perform better in the classroom because they play for FCA.

Our thoughts on college exposure

We believe in a targeted approach based on academic qualifications as well as athletic skills.

The best fit is when the athlete and coach are both enthusiastic about their choice.  FCA coaches and our College Liaison guide our players along the way and promote our players to the right schools.  We also discourage our players from joining expensive college promotion organizations and accepting every college showcase invitation.  Without this guidance, families could waste thousands of dollars chasing the college sports dream.

We select our tournaments wisely.

Our elite teams play in tournaments scouted by college coaches.  We enjoy a great relationship with GSL tournaments and have many success stories of our players being scouted and offered college roster spots during these tournaments.  We often coordinate our lineups with college coaches who are coming to see specific players.  GSL also provides talented players the opportunity to compete in high-level post-season play with the Pacific Northwest Games which are heavily scouted—many FCA players have been selected to participate.

Fitness and nutrition are integral to college preparation.

Fitness and proper nutrition used to be an advantage when competing for a college roster spot—now they are an expectation.  We provide experts in fitness training and sports nutrition.  (See Training section on our website for additional information.)

We encourage our players to participate in Baseball Northwest.

BBNW has a long-standing reputation as an evaluator of top baseball talent.  They have a standardized method to capture comparable performance metrics and select the best athletes to compete in post-season games.  These games have an impressive draw of local and national college recruiters.

 

We maintain extensive relationships with college coaches.

Our College Liaison continually communicates with college coaches regarding their needs and thoughts on our players, and always looks to establish new relationships.  We also rely on our extended network (e.g., Rijo Athletics and other training partners) to help our players with their college pursuit.  The more connections our athletes have, the better their chances of making the right college decision.

We encourage our players to become well-rounded.

Our players invest time and develop passions outside of baseball, and they mature as a result.  Many of our players are leaders within their student body, have taken mission trips with their church, play other sports, and regularly participate in charity events.  College admissions criteria look for well-rounded student candidates, and we help our players get a jump on this.  In addition, well-respected college athletic programs have a history and spirit of giving back.  Our alumni comment on the values they learned through FCA service projects and believe it is just one more way FCA prepares them for college baseball.

Our alumni could be our greatest asset.

They come back and join practices during college breaks, and many college graduates help coach our teams during the season.  They are always excited to talk with players and parents about their college experience and provide unique insights that may not otherwise be shared.  We are proud to share our alumni page and impressed with the colleges our players have selected.

There is more to college than baseball.

We encourage our players to take tours as early as their freshman high school year to determine which schools provide the best personal fit.  Using an extensive list of criteria, we meet with each player and his family to provide individualized guidance in the college selection process.  We want to see our players excited to stay at the school they initially selected and complete their education without the added expense and stress of changing colleges, whether or not they continue to play baseball.