Massanutten Military Academy is excited to announce that it will be adding a post graduate baseball program to its academic and sports offerings for the 2023-2024 School Year.
Facilities director Mike Hottinger came up with the idea and with the support from MMA Head of School, Kim Elshafie-Layman, it didn’t take long to find the right person to start up the program.
Long-time Valley League manager Mike Bocock, who this past summer surpassed 700 wins in the Valley League, recently moved to the Woodstock area and expressed interest in the position of heading up the new program.
“Coach Bocock is one of the best in the area, and MMA is lucky to have a great coach with a proven track record taking the lead. Go Colonels!” Elshafie-Layman said.
“Bocock approached me when he heard what we had in mind,” Hottinger said. “We wanted to give kids another year to play baseball and be better prepared for college or maybe get to a better college situation.”
Bocock, who currently manages the nearby Woodstock River Bandits, sees both the challenge of starting a new program from the ground floor and the opportunity for players who may need an extra year of development.
“I’m excited to get this going,” Bocock said. “We expect to have 30 or so ballplayers with a few scholarships available, plus we feel that we will be a lot more affordable than some similar post-graduate opportunities.”
Bocock also mentioned that some baseball players may need additional coaching beyond the high school level before entering college and that some may be able to improve their SAT scores, gain up to 12 hours of college credit while at MMA without using up a year of college eligibility.
Massanutten also intends to offer an indoor baseball space to help attract prospective players.
Former Shenandoah University pitching coach Rick Croushore will join the staff as assistant head coach and will handle the pitchers as well as serve as recruiting coordinator.
“I couldn’t be more excited in coming back to Virginia and continue teaching and developing talent,” Croushore said.
With just about four months time to get their first class of players to MMA, the initial challenge is immediate.
Bocock and Croushore embarked on their first official recruiting trip to talent-rich Florida this past week.
“We hope to be able to attract both local and national talent to MMA,” Bocock said. “The community is definitely behind this.”
Massanutten Military Academy is Virginia’s premier, co-ed military academy. MMA’s mission is to prepare students for lives of meaning, purpose, service and leadership, within a supportive and structured community in which all members of a diverse student body feel a true sense of belonging.
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