For Bubba Ivers, a multitude of sports made up his childhood, middle school and high school years.
But baseball was always at the top of the heap, and Wednesday the Moffat County High School graduate signed to keep playing baseball next school year.
Ivers will attend Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., which is a perennially strong school in the two-year school ranks. He had been deciding between Mesa and Galveston College in Galveston, Texas, but hadn’t heard from Galveston in a while and had an excellent visit to Mesa.
“I went on my campus visit and loved it,” Ivers said about Mesa. “Seeing the way the program is, the way the coaches are, I just know it’s going to be good for me.”
Ivers is one of two players Mesa recruited to pitch and be a position player next season, said Doug Rose, recruiting coordinator for the Thunderbirds. Ivers had everything Mesa looks for in recruits, he said.
“We recruit nationally, so I have to rely on some word of mouth,” Rose said. “But speaking with his coach and others in the area I know, they spoke highly of his character. That’s one thing we always look for. I saw some videos of him playing and was impressed. He worked out for us when he came here, and I think he has some tools to be successful.”
Ivers is looking forward to playing with a large group of high-level players and getting better to continue chasing his dream of playing in the major leagues.
Making it to the biggest stage baseball has to offer is a long shot for even the most talented players exiting high school. But Ivers feels confident he is going to the right place to get that journey started.
“They send a lot of guys to Division I (schools) and a couple of guys to the draft every year,” he said. “That’s what’s you want.”
The Thunderbirds program will bring in about 55 players in the fall and they will compete for about 30 positions, half pitchers and half position players, Rose said. Cutting nearly half the players invited out may be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s what Ivers wants.
“That could be tough, but the more people there are and the better kids are out there, the more it will push everybody,” he said. “You have to compete with the best to be the best.”
Signing with Mesa is the conclusion to a good couple of weeks for Ivers. He was named to the First Team All State team in 3A by The Denver Post, and found out he would be getting an offer from Mesa within a few hours of each other.
Ivers is the first First Team All-State player from Moffat County since Chris Winder in 2008.
“I had just gone done with my visit and (MCHS baseball coach Justin) Folley texted me and told me about it,” Ivers said of earning all-state. “I was pretty pumped. (Mesa) say they want me to come play ball there and then that happens. It was pretty cool.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com