Bulldog catcher bound for the Outback

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Tad Behrens confesses he's not the world's best sales person. Actually, the Moffat County High School senior might argue he's one of the worst.

"I could barely even sell 10 of those Gold Cards (a discount card for community businesses that the high school athletes are asked to sell to raise money for the athletic department)," he said. "I was shot down about 60 times. I had people telling me, 'I'm not even from here,' and they were my neighbors."

While Behrens wouldn't list salesmanship as one of top talents, he would list baseball as one thing he does well. The All-Conference catcher as a junior is back and hopes to lead his team to a return trip to the state tournament this year after a year's absence.

At the same time, he also is thinking about a summer trip to Australia with a different team. Behrens received a letter last summer inviting him to play on a team of Colorado players in a tournament in Australia after his high school career is over.

The program is on behalf of the International Sports Specialties Inc., out of North Logan, Utah.

"When I got the letter my dad asked, 'So do you want to go?'" Behrens said. "I said sure and that's where we're at."

Now is where the dreaded salesmanship part comes in. To finance the trip, Behrens needs to raise more than $3,000. Something he has started on but of which he is no fan.

"It's (raising money) something that I have trouble with," he said. "But the community has been pretty good so far."

Behrens and his family have put plastic bins at City Market, Safeway, the Veterans of Foreign Wars building and several banks. He said he also has been offered assistance from the Elks Club.

If his fund raising is successful, Behrens will travel with his Colorado teammates to the Land Down Under for what his initial letter describes as a "13-day trip (that) will include four days and three nights in Sydney, Australia, and seven days and seven nights in Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coat of Australia."

In the tournament, Behrens' team will "have the opportunity to compete in an international tournament including athletes from the United Sates as well as Australia."

"I've never been out of the country so it will be nice to see something new," he said. "Also, it is something that will look good on a resume for college."

Behrens said after his last season as a Bulldog he plans to work in the fall and enroll at a school in the spring to play baseball -- the sport that his given him the chance to see the world.

"I don't know too much about all the details yet," he said. "But I'm sure it will be a great and memorable experience."

For more information on contributing to Behrens' trip, contact the First National Bank of the Rockies and ask about the Behrens'

Australia Fund.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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