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Niwot youth baseball team playing beyond their years


Last updated 4/9/2020 at 1:19pm

Courtesy Photo

Members of the Niwot Cougars 11U AAA competitive baseball team pose with their coaches after a recent win. This year’s team, helmed by head coach Dave Gaccetta and assistants Bill Crisco, Matt Gorr, Marc Schmeeckle, posted two tournament wins and finished fifth overall in the USSSA 12-year-old AAA state tournament. Players for the 2019 squad included Arlo Richards, Blake Gorr, Travis Check, Luke Schmeeckle, Soren Crisco, Nolan Gaccetta, Jack Schrock, Colin Cunningham, Parker Brown, Connor Falls, and Brec Birmingham.

The future of Niwot baseball is bright with players on a talented 11-year-old squad hitting their stride. Head coach David Gaccetta led the Niwot Youth Sports Cougars to a 27-4 record and an impressive showing in the 12-year-old state tournament.

For the past five years, Gaccetta has watched this team develop as ballplayers and as teammates. It all came into fruition this season.

“It’s been really neat watching them (go) from learning how to just play catch with each other to some of the amazing things they’ve been able to do,” praised Gaccetta. “It wasn’t uncommon this year to turn double plays.”

Equally important has been the chemistry this group has built. The value of team chemistry is often underrated in baseball, but Gaccetta believes it can be a crucial commodity. Summer teams spend a lot of time together and building strong relationships is important.

“We just loved being around each other,” said Gaccetta. “That really is the difference... (and) was one of the main reasons we had such success.”

The success Gaccetta mentions included tournament victories in the Rocky Mountain Ruckus and Sherwood Classic, as well as a fifth place finish in the USSSA 12-year-old AAA state tournament. It was a team goal to compete in the state tournament and the Cougars did not disappoint.

Installing a team first mentality was another high priority for Niwot. Winning as a team is no easy task for any group of young ballplayers. The Cougars took pride in playing selfless baseball and reaped the benefits at the end of each game.

“The kids didn’t really care who got the winning hit, or who was pitching, or who made a great play, as long as somebody on the team did it, everyone was equally as happy,” explained Gaccetta. “They really understood that team concept that you know I’m part of it, but I’m not the main reason.”

Gaccetta also credits his three assistant coaches for their work this season. According to Gaccetta, a large coaching staff provided more individual attention to players and helped improve the team as a whole. It’s not uncommon to see a wide range of talent with a youth team, and additional help can be beneficial.

All in all, the class of 2026 has already provided winning baseball in Niwot. The team hopes to stick together for the last few years of Niwot Youth Sports baseball and looks forward to continued success.

“It has been a phenomenal experience,” said Gaccetta. “We were all bummed that we didn’t practice this week.”


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