Ryne Sandberg Camps A Home Run!

Over 160 athletes participated in the Ryne Sandberg Camps this weekend at RoundTripper Sports Academy! Ball players as young as 6 years old had a chance to meet and learn from Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg in a camp setting run by RoundTripper’s professional staff.

“My 7-year old had a great time at the Ryne Sandberg Camp. His favorite part of the day was wrapping up camp with a game of wiffle ball, and he particularly enjoyed when Ryno stepped up to the plate to play with the campers. I loved having the opportunity to watch camp from afar, and it was amazing how involved Ryne Sandberg was with the campers – he didn’t just make an appearance at the beginning and the end. Watching him play wiffle ball with the kids was a definite highlight of the day, and my son can’t stop talking about how he got to play baseball with a hall of famer…..We’ll definitely be back.”

Brian Garrison, father of 7 year old camper

Thank you to Ryne Sandberg, our sponsors, the players, and the instructors that made this such a fun day! For information on more fun camps and classes at the RoundTripper facility, visit www.roundtripper.com or call the facility at 317-896-2900!

Why The Metric Development Program?

RoundTripper’s Metric Development Program, on December 27th, is MORE THAN JUST A SHOWCASE! RoundTripper’s professional staff will measure all of your important metrics and instead of just posting them, they will help you understand them and how to improve them.

All athletes that sign up for the hitting/fielding portion of the program will have their 60 yard dash laser timed TWICE. RoundTripper’s Director of Sports Performance, Vern Smith, will then host a discussion with all athletes to review how 60 times can be improved whether it be through technique or strength training. Coach Smith came to RoundTripper after 13 years as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Marian University.

All players will have a scouting report written up and provided to them by former San Francisco Giants scout Kevin Christman. This will essentially give each player a “report card” on their skills and how they are evaluated by a professional scout at the next level. This information is key to help players understand where their deficiencies may be and what can be done to improve them and give them the best chance at playing at the next level.

All players will receive their Blast numbers PLUS a FREE Blast account for 30 days after the program!

For hitters, all athletes will be provided their exit velocities alongside their Blast numbers. All hitters will also be given access to a FREE Blast profile for 30 days. If you are not familiar with Blast or the numbers that are measured by the sensors, RoundTripper Master Hitting Instructor and Owner, Chris Estep will be defining each of the metrics, explaining why they are important, and what you can do to improve them. Players who do not have a Blast sensor and would like to purchase one for their own use may do so that day.

All defenders will have their throwing velocity recorded, infielders across the diamond, and outfielders throwing to home. Catchers will have their pop times and their throwing velocity recorded as well. Former Chicago Cubs international scout, Alfonso Palacios will speak to infielders and outfielders on what is expected of them to be seen and recruited at the next level, as well as how to help increase their metrics. RoundTripper Master Catching Instructor, and Wabash College Assistant Coach, Cesar Barrientos will discuss with catchers how to properly improve technique, footwork, and arm strength to improve both pop times and throwing velocities.

Rapsodo will be used to capture velocities and spin rate for all pitchers.

Pitchers will have their velocities recorded for all of their pitches and will also have their spin rates measured by Rapsodo. Lead Pitching Instructor and former MLB Draft Pick, Garrett Christman, will then host a discussion with all pitchers helping to define what spin rates mean to them, how to improve both velocity and spin rate, and how that can be translated in to developing pitches. Director of Sports Performance, Vern Smith, will also discuss what pitchers must do to maintain their arms and bodies, from a strength and mobility standpoint, to allow them to maximize their performance on the mound.

Spots are limited to 20 spots per session (2 hitting/fielding sessions & 1 pitching session), so be sure to sign up now! The event will be hosted on Monday, December 27th at the RoundTripper facility.

Roundtripper now offering Sports Performance!

Meet our new Sports Performance Director: Coach Vernon Smith

Roundtripper is proud to announce that Vernon Smith will be joining the Roundtripper family as our new Sports Performance Director! Coach Vern is ready to take our strength and conditioning program to a level it has never been at before. In partnership with Vern, we have completely renovated and expanded our weight room and workout area. This space is now ready to go for all our athletes who are looking to take their game to the next level.

Vernon Smith previously spent 13 years as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Marian University. At Marian University, Vern oversaw 26 different sports while helping lead multiple teams to conference championships and over 50 national championships. While at Marian, Vernon also had the opportunity to design a 14,000 square foot, collegiate level weight room. We are lucky to have Vern help us not only take our programing to the next level, but also our weight room.

Coach Vern’s coaching style includes a mixed variation of training types, depending on the sport and individual athletes’ ability. Vern has worked with a wide variety of athletes at almost every level imaginable, from youth athletes, collegiate athletes, professional athletes, national champions, and even Olympians.

Brandon Dillon is one of Coach Vern’s professional athletes that he has worked with for years. Dillon is currently playing for the Minnesota Vikings and took a second to give us some insight on his relationship with Coach Vern. “Coach Smith was instrumental in my development as an athlete in college and helped me reach my goals of playing in the NFL. I gained over 40 pound of muscle in college while working with Coach Smith. He was able to design a program that helped me reach my max potential and for that I will forever be grateful! Coach Smith takes the time to work and develop relationships with his athletes and truly cares about his athletes well being. Vern is one of the strongest individuals I know and is a certified FREAK!”

Due to his background of working with various sports and athletes of all genders and skill levels, Vern is able to adapt quickly and work with athletes in any sport, at any level, to help them reach their goals. “At the end of the day, we are trying to make a better athlete, regardless of what sport they play.” Coach Vern stated.

Coach Vern is excited to partner with Roundtripper. When we asked him why he decided to make the switch from Marian he explained “I wanted bring a college level mentality to the private sector.” Vern understands what it takes for an athlete to get to the next level in any sport and he can get your athlete there. “That’s why I brought TFP or The Freak Performance to Roundtripper.” Vern’s entire philosophy can be summed up in a quote that he lives by “Hard work, dedication, prayers and beliefs.”

Vern will be offering small group sessions in strength and conditioning, speed and agility, and core and mobility, in addition to one on one personal training.

Vernon Smith was a collegiate football player at Marian University. After his sophomore year he suffered a knee injury which led to a reconstruction surgery. He battled back from his injury to play a final football season. In 2010 Following his final season as a player, Vern became a strength and conditioning coach at Marian University where he eventually became the director of strength and conditioning. Vern has also been named the strongest strength coach in the world.

Vern resides in Westfield, IN with his wife Nicole and his 3 daughters Cate, Iri, and Lincoln.

Make sure to follow Coach Vern’s Instagram and Roundtripper to stay up to date on the latest news!

New and Improved Roundtripper Weight Room

We have vastly improved the layout and quality of our sports performance area. There are still smaller renovations to be done but we are excited for all of the progress that has already been made!

University High School wraps up 2021 Season

The University Trailblazers wrapped up their 2021 season this past Saturday. Roundtripper wants to congratulate the Trailblazers on all of their hard work! The Trailblazers were looking to make their way back to the state championship game and repeat their 2019 state championship title. 

After the 2020 season being cancelled due to Covid, the team was eager to get back on the field and fight their way through the state tournament. While their final loss may have been a tough
one, the Trailblazers finished with both Sectional and Regional Championship wins and a record of 23-10.

University High School Baseball will be graduating 6 seniors and we would like to congratulate them all on an excellent senior year as well as thank them for their hard work and dedication to the University baseball program. Congratulations to these 6 young men and good luck in the future!

Class of 2021:
Jacob Lange, Grady Hay, Luke Hellman
Tyler Galyean, Miami of Ohio 
Adam Oxley, Wabash College 
Matt Moore, College of Lake County 

The University Trailblazers now have their sights set on the 2022 season as they will be returning 15+ players and have many promising underclassmen on the team. Coach Reid Andrews gave us a little insight into next season "We're looking forward to bringing back a talented group of underclassmen and we expect they will be able to continue the winning tradition at University. The class of 2021 set the bar high in terms of team success, and we are excited to see our younger guys continue to raise that bar."

You can also check out this IndyStar article about the Trailblazers season here.

College Summer League at Grand Park

Starting this week the college summer league at Grand Park is in full swing! Roundtripper has a number of athletes playing in this league, we want to wish them all good luck this summer! These games are played at Grand Park throughout the week, you can find the schedule here. Regular updates about the league can be found on their Twitter page. See the list of our RT athletes playing in the league below. Good Luck to all!

RoundTripper Athletes in College Summer League

  • Community First Bank Moonshots:
    • Landon Godsey, Voulnteer State
    • Dawson Estep, Rend Lake College
    • Rutger Poiry, Eastern Kentucky
    • Jonah Wichman, Butler University
    • Cameron Holycross, Indiana State University
    • Grant Fremion, Saint Louis University
    • Jacob Stadler, Purdue University
    • Luke Barnes, Danville Area CC
  • Academy Park Rangers:
    • Gabe Wright, John A Logan College
    • Chris Gallagher, Wright State University
    • Brock Moore, Danville Area CC
  • Pro X Pace Snapping Turtles:
    • Max Engelking, Eastern Illinois University
  • Chatham Hills Turf Monsters:
    • Kaid Muth, Parkland College
    • Bryce Dorton, Lansing CC
    • Jack Perkins, Louisville
    • Jake Andriole, Danville Area CC
    • Jared Poland, Louisville
  • McGonigal Bag Bandits:
    • Grant Trinkle, John A Logan
    • Brendan Hord, University of Kentucky
    • Ty Johnson, Ball State University
  • Houston Bomb Squad:
    • Khal Stephen, Purdue
    • Peyton Tamm, Lansing CC
    • Jack Ellis, Campbell
  • Edge Rock Local Legends:
    • Cade Nelis, Purdue Fort Wayne
    • Logan Nickel, Anderson University
    • Cooper Miles, Wabash Valley College
    • Nate Bingman, Virginia Military Institute
    • Nate Dohm, Ball State University
    • Karter Hann, Purdue Fort Wayne
    • Jack Firestone, Purdue University
    • Derek Haslett, Wabash College
    • Adam Hutchinson, Lincoln Trail CC
  • Trifectom Tropics
    • Jack Taulman, Indiana State University
    • Carter Mathison, Indiana University
    • Zach Collins, Grand Valley State

RoundTripper Coaches Take Home 3 Sectional Championships!

Three teams with RoundTripper instructors as Head Coaches took home Sectional Championships this weekend in the first weekend of the 2021 IHSAA State Tournament! University High School coached by Chris Estep won 2A Sectional #43 at Cascade HS, Trader’s Point Christian Academy coached by Jaylen Cushenberry won 1A Sectional #58 at Bethesda Christian HS, and Clinton Central High School coached by Andrew Quinn won 1A Sectional #54 at Frontier High School.

University HS won against Covenant Christian 7-3 in the semi-final game in the morning and over #1 ranked Cascade HS 8-2 to take home the Championship hardware in the night cap. This was University’s first year in Class 2A.

University goes on to play Centerville HS in the Cascade Regional Saturday, June 5th at 1 PM.

Trader’s Point won their first ever baseball Sectional by beating Tindley HS 22-4 in the semi-final game and then beating host Bethesda Christian 7-6 in the Championship game.

Trader’s Point goes on to play Oldenberg Academy in the Morristown Regional Saturday, June 5th at 12 PM.

Clinton Central HS won the schools 2nd Sectional Championship in Coach Quinn’s first year with the Bulldogs, beating Tri-County HS 2-0 in the semifinal game and beating Rossville HS 6-2 in the Championship game.

Clinton Central goes on to play Riverton Parke HS in the Carroll (Flora) Regional Saturday, June 5th!

Good luck to all of our coaches and teams as they look to make a run to an IHSAA State Championship!

RoundTripper Athletes Participating In The 2021 MLB Draft League

This summer marks the inaugural season of the MLB Draft League, a collegiate summer baseball league developed through a collaboration with Major League Baseball and Prep Baseball Report (PBR). The league will serve as a showcase for top draft-eligible prospects this summer with a 68-game regular season, including an All-Star break in July coinciding with the MLB draft.

RoundTripper is excited to have two athletes and former Mustangs who will be participating in the six-team league this summer.

Sam Crail, 2017 Sheridan HS Graduate

Sam Crail (OF) graduated from Sheridan High School in 2017, was originally an Indiana University commit, and is now attending Saint Leo University in Central Florida.

“Its an honor to be a part of the first season of the MLB draft league. Being able to compete against other great players in some of the country’s best baseball environment is a blessing. This is something I will remember for the rest of my life”

Crail finished the 2021 season tied for 2nd in HR’s for the St. Leo Lions, was second on the team in RBI’s, while leading the team in doubles and stolen bases and batting .290.

Cade Carlson (RHP) is a 2018 University High School graduate who finished the 2021 season at Lincoln Trail College in Illinois. Carlson will continue his collegiate career at D1 East Tennessee State University.

Cade Carlson, 2018 University High School Graduate

“I’m honored to be here and excited to see how the season goes. I’ve been working hard for years and I’m happy to be one of the names to perform in this league for the inaugural season,” Cade said when asked about his thoughts on the experience so far.

Carlson finished the 2021 season with a 2.72 ERA striking out 62 and averaging 9.35 K’s/9 innings.

At Roundtripper we love to see hard work paying off! The Roundtripper family looks forward to following the careers of these young men and supporting all of our athletes on the path to success.

13u Colts Off To Hot Start This Spring!

The 13u Colts Baseball Club has started the 2021 baseball season as one of the top USSSA teams in the state. Back to back championships in the USSSA Turf Madness and King of the Mound has propelled the Colts to a #3 USSSA state ranking and a Top 100 ranking in the nation. Currently sitting at 15-3, the 13u Colts also have two 3rd place finishes and a 4th place finish to add to their 2021 season.

13u Colts – LaFave wins the USSSA Turf Madness at Grand Park

Coached by Pat LaFave, the team is building a culture of effort, attitude, and fun to help young players learn a love for the game.

“Our boys just want to play baseball for the love of the game. They want to get better and are willing to work hard to do it.”

Coach Pat LaFave

Training out of RoundTripper Sports Academy, with it’s professional instructors in the off season, the 13u Colts have emphasized training, both as a team and on their own.

“We have a player/coach group chat where we show each other when we are working outside of practice. It’s contagious, everyone works hard at practice and at home. Each kid pushes the next,” said Coach LaFave.

The 13u Colts have also focused on giving back to the community. They have donated $2000 to Toys for Tots as well as raising over $1000 to donate to aid Melanoma research. “…we do our best to be great people and give back,” said 13u Colts players Michael Burchfield, “…a member of our Colts family is deeply affected by melanoma cancer and we are doing our best to help that individual.”

Coach LaFave and the 13u Colts continue their season this weekend in the USSSA RBI Showdown in Indianapolis! Thank you to Coach LaFave and the 13u Colts players and families for being a great example of what a hard working team looks like! Good luck the rest of the season!

COVID Delays Coaching Debut for Coach Quinn at Clinton Central HS

Andrew Quinn has been a staff member and coach at RoundTripper Sports Academy since the summer of 2018. He currently coaches a 14U Indiana Mustangs team and serves as a lead pitching instructor at the RoundTripper facility.

Originally from the Saint Louis area, Quinn played his college baseball at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN, where he majored in Communications and was a 4 year letter winner for the Tigers as a pitcher. After spending 2 years as an Assistant Coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, Coach Quinn was offered the Head Coach job at Clinton Central HS in Michigantown, IN. Coach Quinn was hired prior to the COVID-19 cancelled 2020 season and is now serving his first year as Head Coach for the Bulldogs!

The fourth coach in four years for the Bulldogs, Quinn is working to build consistency and confidence in his players in the program.

“Other than coaching turnover, the main struggle with this group is that they have never tasted success. The team has struggled over the years, and their confidence was lacking when I first got there. We have worked hard to build up confidence in our abilities, much of which comes from practicing hard. We have seen a lot of success so far this season as a result.”

Coach Quinn is in his first season as Head Coach at Clinton Central.

Coach Quinn is also working to build a culture of family and hard work within the Bulldogs program, using the “We Are Family” motto.

“I stress with the team the importance of working hard every day, being thankful for the game of baseball, respecting the game, and doing all of the little things the right way. I am excited to be a part of the Clinton Central baseball program and to see it grow over the next few years.”

Coach Andrew Quinn

Coach Quinn is working on getting his Master’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis on English so that he can teach and coach in high school full-time. He currently serves as a full-time substitute teacher at Clinton Central Jr/Sr High School.

Find the Clinton Central Bulldogs Schedule HERE on MaxPreps!

Coach Cushenberry Now Leading the Trader’s Point Knights

Coach Jaylen Cushenberry is entering his fourth year as a RoundTripper instructor and Indiana Mustangs coach, while embracing new challenges as he eyes his coaching future. A current 17u Indiana Mustangs coach, Coach Cushenberry has coached at all age groups in the high school level, as well as being an Assistant Coach at Plainfield High School and at University High School, where he was part of the coaching staff for their 2019 IHSAA State Championship.

Coach Cushenberry is now getting the opportunity to lead his own high school team after being named the new Head Coach at Trader’s Point Christian Academy in Brownsburg. Cushenberry’s enthusiastic approach to coaching is translating to the team’s play as they have embraced a “Ride The Wave” culture!

“When you are on a wave of emotions throughout the course of the game and throughout the course of life, you must stay consistent. You can’t get too high in the high times or too low in the low times, you must ride the wave.”

Coach Jaylen Cushenberry

Coach Cushenberry has also focused on challenging the team by beefing up their game schedule. “Our schedule has some great games on there to challenge our kids everyday so they are ready for Sectionals. I stole this same approach from Reid Andrews and Chris Estep at University.”

Coach Cushenberry is a 2016 graduate of Avon High School and a 2020 graduate of Marian University where he received a BS in Physical Education. Coach Cushenberry teaches both hitting and outfield at RoundTripper Sports Academy and has elevated himself to a leading outfield instruction position within the RoundTripper staff. Jaylen also participates in all continuing education offered by RoundTripper and is an up an coming coach to watch!

Find the Knights Baseball Schedule on MaxPreps HERE!