Trainers

Josh Merrill (Kansas/Missouri)

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Josh was a hard throwing right-handed that was in the mid 90’s. He started his career at JUCO powerhouse Neosho County Community College under Head Coach Steve Murray from 2011-2013. He Helped the Panthers go to Back-to-Back Junior College World Series’, and two top 5 national rankings. Josh was named to the 2013 Academic All-American team at Neosho County. He continued his playing career at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, member of the Sunbelt Conference in 2014. He got the chance to toe the rubber against Division 1 powerhouses such as: the University of Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Creighton University, throwing scoreless innings against all three. After an arm injury set back, Josh transferred to King University, Bristol Tennessee. Unfortunately, Josh could not get healthy and did not have much impact during his senior year. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Josh began coaching High-School travel ball in the summer of 2016. Josh is currently entering his fourth year of coaching travel ball (his third summer with the Wichita Sluggers). He has also recently taken an assistant coaching position with Bonner Springs, High-School (Kansas City Area). Josh understands pitching very well and does a great job of teaching kids how to pitch. He has been doing private pitching lessons over the past four years, and has helped to shape pitchers ages 9-24 into mechanically solid pitchers. Josh states that, He loves doing private lessons with players. He enjoys watching a player figure it out and have the light bulb go off right in front of him. He believes that he is a different type of instructor because he fine tune players right where they are; and  doesn’t try to change them. He wants every player to be different in their own way, yet still be mechanically sound.

Chris Dawson (Kansas)

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Chris was an infielder that started his playing career at Hesston College. Chris has the opportunity to transfer to Tabor College to play under Head Coach Mark Standiford for his sophomore year. Unfortunately, this was not a perfect fit for Chris. Chris transferred to Central Christian College in McPherson Kansas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2015. Chris started his coaching career in 2015 when he was an Assistant Coach for the Salina Blue Jays collegiate team. He worked closely with hitters, and base runners in this role.  Chris accepted a job with Hesston College in 2016 when he was named the Volunteer Assistant Coach. He worked closely with the hitters, and infielders. Chris served as the Graduate Assistant at Hawaii Pacific University for the 2017 season. While at Hawaii Pacific Chris worked with infielders, base-runners, and assisted with hitting. Chris has recently taken a position with Central Christian College as an Assistant Coach. Chris will be in charge of hitting, infielders, base-running, and will help with recruiting. Chris states that,  He enjoys working with hitters and fielders one-on-one because he likes the chance to break down swings and fielding mechanics to make players better.

Joel Baxley (Kansas)

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Joel was a catcher that started his college playing career at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. After his freshman year he transferred to a JUCO, Jayhawk West powerhouse, Hutchinson Community college. After his stint at HCC, he signed to play his final two years at Southwestern Oklahoma State University under Head Coach, Zack Saunders. Upon graduating from SWOSU with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Sports Management, Joel accepted a position at Wichita Sluggers Academy as the Youth Director of Baseball. Along with being the Youth Director of Baseball at Wichita Sluggers Academy, he is also in charge of the Speed and Strength programming for the academy. Joel has coached for the Wichita Sluggers Academy since 2014. Joel has also been performing private lessons in catching, hitting and fielding over that time period. Joel states that, nothing compares to that moment when it finally “clicks” in a player’s mind after they felt that it could not be accomplished. He further states that, He likes to focus on the foundation of the athlete and grow off of what they have already built.

Ryan Hargrove (Arkansas)

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Ryan attended the University of Southern Mississippi to get his Bachelor’s degree graduating in 2010 and began his coaching career at his alma mater Viola High School as an assistant varsity and head JV coach. While coaching at Viola during the school year in the summer time he spent two years serving as the baseball director at Camp Caribou. During his 6 seasons at Viola the Longhorns experienced a lot of success winning over 150 games, multiple conference and districts titles to go along with 2 trips to the state finals. During his time at Viola Ryan was able to obtain a Master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Concordia University – Irvine. In the fall of 2016 he took a job as an assistant coach at Dakota College Bottineau (which is a D2 JUCO) where the Lumberjacks had their best season in 15 years and multiple players went on too to sign with four year colleges. The following year he took a job at North Arkansas College and the Pioneers were able to win 20 games, and saw multiple players move on from the two-year college to the four year level including one to Coastal Carolina. In the summer of 2018 Ryan took a job with the Laramie Colts summer collegiate team in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Baseball League. He was very fortunate to get the honor of managing in the All-Star game. There was a lot player improvement and the Colts were knocked out in the semi-finals of the postseason. In the summer of 2019 he will be coaching the Sharks in Sunshine State Collegiate Baseball League in Florida. He currently works at Flippin High school as  baseball coach and teacher. Ryan is very committed to teaching the game of baseball the right way; and helping players improve to be the best they can be. In his many years of coaching he has been involved with multiple  positions and aspects of a baseball program. He would like to apply that knowledge to help the next generation of players learn the ins and outs of the game; and have a great skill set to help them be successful on and off the field.

Vince Licursi (Ohio)

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Vince is a native of Northeast Ohio. He played his collegiate days at Wheeling Jesuit University. He put together an all-conference career as a pitcher for the Cardinals. He was also named as an Honorable Mention for the Daktronics North Atlantic Regional Team. In addition Vince led his team in Era and K’s per nine innings. Vince quickly got his coaching career started after his playing days. He became the #1 rated instructor in the Ohio area according to coachup.com. Vince has experience coaching at the high-school, travel ball, and collegiate levels. He has loads of experience coaching kids ages 8-26 in the Northeast Ohio area. Vincent loves teaching the game and utilizes researched methods to ensure the best results for his clients. He further stresses confidence, resiliency, and focus in his sessions. Vince believes that once these principles can be mastered players can unlock their full potential and just have fun. He is passionate about teaching the game and making sure that players of all ages are fundamentally sound ballplayers.

 

 

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