Lecturer aiming for a home-run with Spartans

GOING FOR THE THROW: Mike out on the field as his Spartans are hoping to run through the competition.

GOING FOR THE THROW: Mike out on the field as his Spartans are hoping to run through the competition. (Photo: Sean Wallwein)

A UNIVERSITY lecturer is looking to hit a home-run as he prepares to switch from the classroom to take to the ballpark in another season as a baseball coach.
Mike Holton, a senior lecturer in the School of Computing, has been with the Newton Aycliffe Spartans for four years, coaching the side to their first ever title last season.
Lecturer Mike is looking forward to the new season and working hard with the team to compound on last year’s success.
When asked how he got into the sport Mike said: “Baseball has been something I’ve always wanted to do and I noticed that a local team had just started and were looking for players, so I took a chance and went.”
“I started going down to the sessions once a week and two years later I took over as head coach and general manager. It’s a lot of hard work, we run two training sessions per week but it’s worth it, it gives me a huge feeling of satisfaction especially when I see beginners progress into accomplished team members.”
Mike’s no stranger to sport, having previously been a professional golfer from when he was 16 but after 8 years in the sport he traded the golf course for the gaming industry, which eventually led him to Teesside University.
Now Mike is calling for new recruits for the only professional baseball team in the North-East.
Mike said: “It’s difficult considering the nearest club to us in the country is Harrogate followed by the likes of Liverpool and Bolton.
“We pull in a lot of people who want to play the game in Newton Accyliffe and also from other areas like Teesside and Newcastle, giving people there a chance to get into the game.
“It’d be great to get a few university students involved and they’re very welcome to turn up and give baseball a try.”
The Spartans were formed in the summer of 2011, and it’s not taken the team long to make an impact.
The Spartans are coming off a very historic season, having captured the BBF AA North Divsion Championship loosing only once last season.
And preparations are underway for the Spartans, as they seek to assert their dominance in the division.
Mike is looking to give a lot of potential future stars a chance at glory as they look to win the title once again..
Mike said: “Things are going well and we’re getting new equipment which is going to allow us to achieve a higher level of training.
“I’ve got a three year plan for the team where I’m wanting to recruit heavily this coming year to give as many people a chance to play and allow club to eventually field teams in both northern divisions
“If you’re willing to put the time in to train, you’re going to get games.”
Facebook: http://ift.tt/15xPwPW
Twitter: @naspartans

from Tside