It has been an intense summer for the players competing in the IMG Wood Bat League. Playing 3-4 games a week while practicing and training physically, you must have superb mental concentration to keep yourself focused. For 17-year old Tony Rivera, his concentration has never been better as he is set on winning a championship. His club, the Conquistadors, won their first playoff contest yesterday morning as they defeated the Hurricanes 6-1 to make it to the semifinals. Up next, they will face the 2nd seed Manatees for a birth in the championships. If the Conquistadors make it past the Manatees,Rivera would be the games pitcher. I was able tocatch up withhim to talk about the IMG Wood Bat League and the playoffs.
Heading into his senior year in Augusta, Georgia, Rivera had a couple goals coming into the summer league. "My first goal was to improve. I wanted to give it my all everyday and really grow as a baseball player. Of course, I also would like to use this league to get noticed by some college scouts." As a Georgia native, some of his top school choices right now would be Georgia Southern and Middle Georgia.
No matter the outcome of the IMG Wood Bat League or the college choices Rivera is left with, life is all about the experience. And his summer at IMG has definitely impacted him greatly. "It really has been a great experience. Playing with my teammates, working out physically, andworking withthe coaches on my gameâit has all been amazing. It is something I will not forget." Rivera also spoke of some specific improvements he has made this summer and identified Director Ken Bolek as the reason. "Ken really helped my swing. He changed it to make it more efficient and I am batting so much better."
For us here at IMG Academy, we are glad to hear the progress Tony Rivera and the rest of the IMG Wood Bat League players have made this summer. We wish Tony the best of luck as he tries to bring a championship to the Conquistadors dug out!