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Larimer selected to play in Under Armour All-American Tournament - Central Oregonian

January 14, 2012
Crook County High School

Central Oregonian


Baseball season is still weeks away, and already Jerren Larimer is at the top of his game.

The Crook County High School baseball player has been selected to play in the Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament.

The 20-team tournament, which features more than 300 of the top players in the country, is scheduled for Tucson, Ariz. this weekend.

“I’m just going to go down there and do the best I can,” Larimer said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity. They could have picked any other kid at the camp and they picked me, so I’m going to use it to the best of my ability.”

Players who participate in the tournament go through a lengthy selection process.

Larimer was first invited to a skills camp at Willamette University in Salem. At the camp, players were evaluated on their speed, fielding ability, and hitting. Players were also required to produce an on-line recruiting profile.

“They recorded your bat speed and watched your footwork fielding,” Larimer said. “They got video of you fielding, pitching, hitting — whatever you do. Then they would give you a ranking.”

From there, a much smaller group of players were invited to regional evaluation camps. Larimer attended a camp with 82 other players in Mesa, Ariz., over Christmas break.

Players at that camp were re-evaluated on their skills, and participated in a mini-tournament.

In order to get in as many games as possible during the three-day camp, teams were allowed a maximum of six batters per inning.

“It impacted the games,” Larimer said. “One inning we had the bases loaded and our sixth batter was up. We had only one out, so when he flew out, we could have tagged up and scored, but the inning was over as soon as he was out.”

Larimer’s team finished fourth out of six teams in the tournament.

Finally, six players were chosen from the camp in Mesa, Ariz., to compete in the Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament.

“They’ve gone through every state and invited the best players that they’ve seen,” Larimer said. “Last year they had 15 players drafted out of this tournament.”

The tournament is usually well attended by both pro and college scouts. Last year, 23 Major League baseball teams were represented .

Although college coaches watch the tournament, due to NCAA regulations, they are not allowed to contact the participants until later in the year.

Events scheduled for this year’s event include a Black Tie formal dinner tonight, where players receive their All-American awards as well as listen to a motivational speaker. On Saturday, players will meet their teammates, go through agility drills, and then play one game. The camp will conclude Sunday, with each team playing two additional games.

Larimer plays both shortstop and pitches for the Cowboys. However, he expects to primarily play shortstop during the tournament.

Although he doesn’t know exactly what to expect at the tournament, Larimer plans to make the most of the opportunity.

“I’m excited,” he said. “You’ve got to go there and be like a sponge and take in everything that the coaches are giving you. Basically I’m just going to keep working hard and do my best.”

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