Chasing a Dream

PN Baseball Player Trains in Florida


Andrew Stone, Staff Writer

As school gets out of session in June, many students set their sights on beaches, hanging with friends, and relaxation time. For most baseball players, summer means two more months of traveling, spending nights in hotels and playing in unrelenting weather. One Portage Northern student took it a step further. Hunter Rose (12) spent six weeks of his summer in Bradenton, Florida at the world-renowned IMGAcademy. Founded in 1987, the IMG (International Management Group) Academy is a private athletic campus on 450 acres that offers training in tennis, golf, baseball, basketball , golf, lacrosse, and football. The academy brings in more than 12,000 athletes from over 80 countries yearly.  For two months, roughly 100 players spend 12 hours a day working on everything baseball.

“My experience at IMG was both eye-opening and extremely impactful for my baseball career. You can’t beat being coached by some of the game’s best on a daily basis,” Rose said. Each year, the IMGAcademy sends 98% of its participants to a Division I, II, or III school for athletics. “One of the advantages the Academy has, is playing against some of the best competition the world has to offer on a daily basis,” Rose said. IMG gives a high level of competition for kids looking to improve in their baseball skills, mental maturity, and physical training for the next level. For Rose, that next level is collegiate baseball. “One day I could be facing a pitcher going to South Carolina, and the next be taking ground balls with a guy going to Virginia. You really can’t beat that type of exposure on a day in and day out.”

When the six weeks comes to a close, IMG has advantages that exceed just the athletic edge. “I had the opportunity to meet and become very close friends with players from all around the world. In fact, I recently spoke to a teammate from Mexico City. IMG is one of those special places, that no matter where you are from, you are always connected through the sport you love.  ”