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Bob Bote Baseball Camp returns to NYS

A Niwot Youth Sports week-long baseball camp was a casualty of Covid-19 for the past two years, but with restrictions lifted, the popular camp returned, as did former camp director Bob Bote.

For years, dating back to the early 1980s, Bote conducted a baseball camp for players 5 to 13, using high school players as camp coaches. Bote, who served as the Niwot High School head coach from 1979 through 2006, won five state Class 4A state titles during his tenure, and his summer camps, often sponsored by Sprinkler Used Cars of Longmont, were popular with local players as well as players from surrounding areas.

One of Bote's former players, Niwot Youth Sports Executive Director Pat Longseth, reached out to Bote to ask about coming back to run a camp for NYS players. Bote, who is now retired from teaching, accepted the invitation, and brought some of his former assistant coaches along to help run the camp.

Silver Creek teacher Jason Lathrop, who played for Bote at Niwot in the 1980s and succeeded him as Niwot High head coach, was able to attend the final two days of the 4-day camp. Biff Warren, who began serving as an assistant coach under Bote at Niwot High in 2002 and continues to coach at NHS, also assisted with the camp.

Several Niwot High players, including rising junior Brock Rothstein, and rising sophomores Arlo Richards and Henry Cox, also assisted, as did fishing freshman from NYS travel teams, and their coach, Ben Bernstein.

Longseth reported that 69 players attended the camp. The camp routine started with daily baseball trivia questions, with bubble gum as the prize for a correct answer. Younger players were given their own set of questions, which included, "What color do the Cincinnati Reds wear?" Other questions involved baseball rules, current and former Rockies players and coaches, as well as other major league stars, past and present.

Daily drills included hitting, throwing, fielding, pitching and catching exercises, followed by a game each day where the camp counselors pitched, no one could strike out, and teams were limited to five runs per inning.

Bote told the campers, "Twenty years or so ago, my son David sat on this same field, and he now plays for the Chicago Cubs. That just shows you that you could be next." Bote currently seres as an assistant coach at Prospect Ridge Academy, where his grandson plays.


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