Stepping off the court, the field, or the baseball diamond for the final time is an emotional moment for any athlete. But a new website launched this year is helping high school baseball players have a shot at playing in college.
Elite Level Prospects, a company focused on baseball recruiting and training, held an open house for parents and athletes on Sunday.
Baseball players of all ages showed up for one-on-one training sessions and demonstrations.
The recruiting platform's goal is to connect Central Illinois players with college coaches to earn scholarships and keep swinging the bat. The company works as the liaison between players, high school coaches, and university coaches.
"We want the player to just simply play baseball," head trainer Johnny Sage said. "Let us do the recruiting for you, so that way you don't get wrapped up mentally and emotionally in that part of it."
The group works with kids of all talent levels. They have coaches on board from various divisions, including Division I universities like U of I and Louisville.
All of the trainers at Elite Level Prospects are former D 1 or professional players with high accolades.
Johnny Sage is a Limestone graduate and three year starter for Bradley.
Brandon Wikoff, also a Limestone alum, is a U of I All-American and fifth round draft choice of the Houston Astros.
Both say the Central Illinois player pool is under valued and it's important to get these kids noticed.
"We know that we have a lot of, a lot of, kids that can play at the next level," co-owner and trainer Brandon Wikoff said. "They're just not seen that much. We've talked to a ton of people and we've experienced the same things with just being under seen. And it's really hard to get exposure."
"We're totally, 100 percent focused on our backyard, Central Illinois" Sage said. "We're eventually hopefully going to expand toward the Quad Cities, Bloomington, Springfield area. But we really want to focus on getting our backyard kids taken care of."
All the information on how to join Elite Level Prospects is on their website.