In just three seasons, the Scotland Campus School Knights have become on of the top prep school basketball programs in the country. Now, the boarding school located at the former Scotland School for Military Veterans has plans of dominating the baseball circuit.
The school's fledgling baseball program – in its first year of existence – has mined talent from around the globe. It's roster boasts 32 players from seven different states and seven different countries, including Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
According to Scotland Campus baseball coach Todd Weldon, managing a roster with with so many different languages and cultures has been a challenge. But it has been a fun challenge.
So far this spring, the team has traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Virginia Beach, Virginia for games against high-level junior college programs, and have returned with an even 3-3 overall record.
“It's a really diverse group of guys,” Coach Weldon stated. “They are coming together with the same goal and dream in mind. You would think that there is going to be some communication barriers and initially there is some of that, but for those guys from non-English speaking countries that has allowed them to speed up that learning curve.”
The team has been forced to adapt quickly. So far this spring, the Knights have traveled to Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Virginia Beach, Va. for games against high-level junior college programs, and have returned with an even 3-3 overall record.
The international players in particular have come a long way since Weldon picked them up from the airport last August.
“For some of these kids, that car ride was quiet. They didn't understand what I saying and I didn't understand what they were saying,” Weldon recalled. “To see how far they've come in the six or seven months since they've been here has been remarkable. They are able to understand English and are able to respond really effectively. That has translated into what they do in the classroom. They are able handle classes taught in English.”
Five Knights players have already made college commitments. Bernard Shivers, a center fielder from Jersey City, N.J., has committed to Howard College, a top junior college in Texas. Arturo Nunez, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic, and Ruben Hernandez, a Dominican outfielder, have both signed to play at Midland College in Texas.
Orion Otero, a first baseman/outfielder from Carrollton, Tex. plans to enroll at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, and Dylan Hodges, a left-handed pitcher from Manteca, Ca., will head to Wayland Baptist University, a 4-year NAIA school in Texas.
“That is just the start, several of guys who are uncommitted have received offers that are just trying to figure out what is going to be the right fit,” Weldon noted.
Shivers and Nunez have also received interest from pro scouts, and could hear their name called in Major League Baseball's June First-Year Player Draft.
The exposure to colleges and scouts is one of biggest reasons why baseball players are coming from far and wide to enroll at the Scotland Campus School.
They have a rigorous baseball schedule where they are able to get out and compete at a high level. The school also puts together player resumes, and their partnership with Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) allows them to communicate with college coaches across the country.
“When it is time to make a college decision they know it is the right one because they have options,” Weldon said.
Scotland Campus School not only helps their players develop on the diamond, they also prepare them academically and for college life in general.
“I've coached at the college level and that transition from high school to college is a difficult one. For many kids it becomes too much and it affects their grades and their life off the playing field,” Weldon said. “With [the school] being just like being a college campus, we have a more structured environment for them to be out from underneath mom and dad's house and figure out how to live life on their own. How to manage their time and gain good study habits.”
The Knights will play six upcoming home games at Shippensburg Memorial Park, starting on Apr. 13 at 5 p.m.
Other home dates at Veterans Stadium include:
April 15 at 2 p.m.
April 27 at 2 p.m.
May 4 at 2 p.m.
May 7 at 4 p.m.
May 11 at 2 p.m.
When the Knights take the field at Veterans Stadium, Coach Weldon promises a team that plays the game with a lot of passion and energy. One that speaks a universal language – baseball.
“People who get the opportunity to come out and see us play will see guys that play the game right,” said the Scotland Campus coach. “Some of these guys have a good opportunity to get drafted. They are getting the opportunity to see guys that are not only going to get to play at the college level, but potentially on TV one day.”