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NECBL spotlights baseball coach Mike Leonard

LEWISTON, Maine -- A former high school and college star in Connecticut, a former Red Sox draftee who once played for the Portland Sea Dogs, and now the third-year head coach of the Bates baseball team, Mike Leonard proves to be an ideal subject for a profile published today on the New England Collegiate Baseball League's website.

Written by Don Leypoldt, the article, "Bates' Leonard Using Baseball to Teach Life Lessons," details Leonard's views on the relationship between education and pursuing a pro career for young standout players.

At Bates, Leonard told Leypoldt, "'The students aren’t forced to choose between competing at a high level athletically or challenging themselves in the classroom. A school like Bates gives them the opportunity to balance a very rigorous academic load with an extremely competitive baseball experience.'"

The NECBL is among the most venerated of the many wooden-bat summer leagues tailored for college players looking to sharpen their games after the college season is ended. Leonard himself, a former All-Big East catcher at the University of Connecticut, played in the NECBL for two seasons. Now he is active in helping place Bates players in summer leagues like throughout the country.