Two Friendswood High School sophomores, Brandon Deskins and Hunter Deckard represented America’s Team Baseball in Italy this summer.
They were among the youngest of the 14 member team representing America’s Team and played three double headers in the following cities: Rome, Montecatini and Milan.
The Italian teams were mostly comprised of 20+ year old players and America’s Team Baseball won every game.
After each double header, the host teams provided a dinner for a time of fellowship.
“The Italian baseball teams were extremely friendly and even traded jerseys and caps with some of our players,” Deckard said.
Coach Rick Collins of Alvin led the US Team in Italy.
The trip was organized for international baseball competition by top players (student athletes) from across the USA versus teams representing Italy from several different levels of competition up to semi-pro.
Players were selected based on baseball playing ability and character.
Each player was identified based on recommendations from individuals, coaches and organizations and then each player was selected after evaluations by a scout or coach representing America’s Team.
“I learned that we have better baseball programs, coaching and equipment in America. The Italian players did not always have proper gear,” Deckard said. “Aside from playing at a slower pace, baseball in Italy did not differ.”
Deskins also saw a difference between the two countries.
The two from FHS had a wonderful time. I learned that the U.S. is a lot different than you think it is once you have left and stayed in another country for an extended time. It makes your outlook on life here in Friendswood look even better than it already is,” Deskins said.
Both boys found the people friendly and accommodating to the visitors.
“The Italian people were amazing. They were so nice, friendly and enjoyed having conversations with us. The architecture, historical landmarks and landscape were spectacular. I would like to return to Italy in the near future,” Deckard said.
Memories were made in Italy by team members.
“The most memorable moment was spending time with the friends I had made on the trip,” Deskins said.
This is an annual event with several teams selected for competition in several parts of Europe and the Dominican Republic.
The trip is sponsored by the players’ families but may sometimes include individual donations and corporate sponsors.