Chavez, Montano selected to attend Under Armour National Team
Ignacio Chavez and Dominic Montano were nominated by their baseball coach, Kenny Gonzales, to try out for the Under Armour National Baseball Team and each received a call April 16 informing them they had made the team. Chavez will play second base, and Montano will play short stop.
The tryout was held at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque on April 14. There were a total of 46 recruits, and the players were tested on skills such as speed, arm strength, fielding and batting. Several Under Armour and college coaches also attended the event.
“I was a little nervous that the others were better than I was,” Montano said about going into the tryout.
Gonzales said both Chavez and Montano performed “right on the money” that day. Gonzales attended the tryout with both boys’ parents.
“They were completely perfect,” Gonzales said.
Chavez and Montano ran the 60-yard dash in 6.92 and 7.06 seconds, and threw the ball at 76 mph and 80 mph respectively. In addition, both demonstrated their soft hand skill as they fielded and threw the ball accurately. Their batting was assessed by their balance, power and placement as the Under Armour coaches pitched to them.
Both performed so spectacularly in the arm strength category that the coaches asked them to be relief pitchers for the team.
“They didn’t even try out for any pitching positions,” Gonzales said.
Chavez and Montano competed against 5A schools such as Clovis and Cleveland that have a high level of competition and aptitude.
“The coaches, and the other players, made the skills assessment fun. I felt comfortable about my performance” Chavez said.
“We made a good showing because other players were asking us for pointers,” Montano said.
Gonzales continued to compliment Chavez and Montano during the interview. He also mentioned that other schools swing metal bats, but Socorro continues to use wooden bats.
“They used their own equipment because anyone can hit well with a metal bat and get on base,” Gonzales said.
The Warriors played against Estancia before the tryouts, which gave them the opportunity for additional infield and outfield practice. Gonzales also credits his staff for preparing his players. Julio Peguero is very knowledgeable as he played professionally for the Phillies, Dodgers and the former Albuquerque Dukes, and he works on hitting and fielding with the players. Both Angel Garcia and Joseph Santillanes work with the pitchers.
Chavez and Montano have been playing ball since they were 4 and 5 years old, and Gonzales has coached them since their eighth-grade year.
Gonzales has nominated players for the last several years, but no Socorro player had ever made the team until now.
“I continually to encourage the players to improve their game, so that they can play at the collegiate level and help pay for their college tuition,” Gonzales said.
Chavez and Montano will join the rest of the team in Omaha, Neb., during the week of June 15-27. They will play in two tournaments (60 teams) highlighted by attending the College World Series Championship Game. Two to three hundred college, semi-professional and professional coaches and scouts will be in attendance. Under Armour will also provide their uniforms, equipment and workout gear.
Under Armour aids in any scouting activity because they provide individual videos of their performance and scouting report, and create a player website within the Under Armour website for coaches to contact them.
The cost to participate in the tournament is $3,700 per player. Chavez and Montano will conduct fundraisers to attend this event.
“These guys work hard, know the result of hard work and understand nothing is free,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales asks the community for its continued support to help these young men attain their goals.