On Sunday evening, June 24, the American Samoa National Baseball team left the territory for summer competition in the U.S. and Canada. The team, which is composed of the territory's best ballplayers under the age of 19, will be playing against regional All-Star teams in Las Vegas and St. George Utah. Later in the summer, they will travel to Montana and Canada, and Samoa News will keep abreast of their journey, wishing them best of luck and godspeed. [photo: tlh]

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Football has long been one of the few ways for American Samoan youth to play their way off the island into a life of prosperity and opportunity in the United States.

Baseball may start to provide the same opportunity.

A group of Samoan players will have the opportunity to build their baseball skills during a training camp which will begin today at Bruce Hurst Field at Dixie State, in preparation for an international tournament in Canada in July.

The skipper of the American Samoa ball club is DSC assistant coach Brent Haring, a member of the Red Storm coaching staff since 2009. Haring, who has been one of the leaders in providing opportunity to Samoan youth through the game of baseball, views his role with distinction.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to be associated with the boys and to pass on some of my knowledge of the game," Haring said. "Obviously, I love the game of baseball and I see it as a way to help influence young men's lives."

Haring coached collegiately at Southern Virginia and Harding before joining DSC three years ago. This is his first coaching foray in the international arena.

Haring's love of baseball, and developing young players, was evident early to Victor Langkilde, the director of the American Samoan Baseball Association.

"It was obvious to us that Brent has a passion and a love for the kids," Langkilde said. "He just does everything for the kids and their success."

Baseball in American Samoa has been dormant, with football being the sport of choice in a culture built on physicality and hard work. However, with the support of the ASBA and coaches like Haring, baseball is beginning to gain a foothold in the Samoan culture.


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