Former Major Leaguers Create Collegiate Baseball League
April 28, 2020
For Immediate Release
Former Major League Players Chris Snopek, Ryan Theriot and Scott Copeland have teamed up to bring a new Collegiate Baseball League in the south, forming the Southeast Collegiate Baseball League. Started just over a week ago as Mississippi Collegiate League and changing its name to reflect more southern states that are in discussions about adding divisions.
College players traditionally play in summer leagues to keep their game tuned while competing with elite players from around the country. But the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curveball to tradition, with travel, host families and facilities in the north and northwest becoming problematic. The 135-year old Cape Cod League recently cancelled their summer season for example, sending college players scrambling to find a summer league. In the south, the professional players that all played in summer leagues in college created a local option.
P360 Performance Sports, based in Jackson with over 40 teams that play under the Sox brand of baseball from ages 8 – 18 put the league together as a result of players, coaches and parents calling for a place to play. “the phone was already ringing about forming a college league”, stated Chris Snopek, founder of P360 Performance Sports, former Ole Miss Rebel and Chicago White Sox infielder. “we thought we could put a few teams together, but the response has been incredible, so we realized this was bigger than we expected.” P360 owns baseball training centers in Jackson, Flowood and Hattiesburg, which brought Scott Copeland into the game. Copeland pitched at USM where he was drafted by and played for the Toronto Blue Jays and pitched for the New York Mets before finishing his career with the Washington Nationals. Anchored in the Hattiesburg facility as the Pitching Director, he joined with Snopek and Theriot to help place players in that region. Copeland is excited for the players, stating “most college players love playing in the summer. It’s a part of the game, playing on teams with players that you will compete against in the spring and just making lifelong friends. It’s about having fun while seriously keeping your game tuned up, trying some new things and allowing scouts to see you a little more. I am excited to do my part in creating a great league.”
Traction Sports Performance saw the opportunity as well. Ryan Theriot, former LSU Tiger and Chicago Cub is also a 2-time World Series Champ, winning with the Cardinals and Giants, and a partner and the Director of Business Development. Traction has 30 teams playing under the Traction Canes brand in Baton Rouge and is well known for training college and professional athletes in their training centers. “I couldn’t imagine these players having their summers cancelled. Summer ball is a big part of the college baseball experience, and I wanted to do what we could to deliver that to these players. We have so many colleges players in the south that are scrambling for a summer team. This gives all of us a chance to give them a great experience. We all played summer ball and remember what we loved about it. Our goal is to give that same experience here in Mississippi and Louisiana”, according to Theriot.
Mack Chuilli, Founder and CEO for Traction Sports Perfomance brings the elite athlete training expertise to round out the league. With topflight training centers in Baton Rouge and Hattiesburg, league players can get instruction, train, hit and pitch with a program designed for elite baseball players. “we already deliver training programs for professional and college baseball players so the process for putting together the training is already our expertise. We are designing packages that allow the players to work in all five locations, working with the P360 training staff to make sure we deliver a consistent training program in all locations. While Traction is ready to go, we will work with Haley Sones at P360 to get Jackson and Flowood ready”, says Chuilli”. We’ve been here a long time and these elite athletes already know what they get here. We will get ramped up to make sure they get a similar experience when they walk into all of the facilities that the league will use.”
That task falls to Haley Sones, the P360 Director of Performance Training. She is working with the Traction staff to create the baseball programs for the league. A graduate of BYU – Hawai’i, Sones played softball at Loyd Star where she won a state championship and caught for Co-Lin before heading west. She trained professional athletes in Las Vegas at Phase I before coming back home, where she also heads up the newly formed Sox Softball program. “We have all the baseball cages, mounds, player instruction in place in our facilities”, she commented. “We know the professionalism at Traction and their staff and will work with them to add the training programs including speed training, weight training and more. We were working on that before the shutdown and partnering with Traction allows us to accelerate those products in our locations.”
The SECL League commissioner is Cory Hough. He joined P360 Performance Sports earlier this year to oversee the facilities within the company. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a master’s degree in Sports Administration, he worked at UC organizing events and maintaining the facilities on campus. “I have been putting together programs for years at UC, so organizing and overseeing the development of this league is what I have been trained to do, with the experience to bring large organizations together to create a seamless and quality experience for the players and coaches”, added Hough.
The Southeast Collegiate Baseball League is forming teams now in all three cities. Players with NCAA eligibility can register, including graduated high school seniors. For more information visit p360performancesports.com or tractionsports.com.