By Marie Osborne
DETROIT (WWJ) – It may not be the biggest Detroit public school — or the most well-known — but the young men on the Communications and Media Arts High School Baseball team say they have just as much heart as any of the others.
As the struggling Detroit school district continues to clean up its financial problems, there is no money available to buy these student athletes basic equipment like uniforms or baseballs. All the necessities have to come from the parents and coaches.
CMA Coach Ray Stevens, a for more than 45 years, is proud of the team.
Last year they won their division title — even though they often played with battered baseballs and worn out uniforms. “I have had to use
equipment from my summer league for these kids and last year a parent came forward and bought us a dozen balls to use,” he said.
The shortages and “make-up’s” don’t bother the students, according to Stevens, who said most just want to play ball.
And Stevens himself is more than just a baseball coach. He says he wants to help these young men learn the values of good sportsmanship and a few life lessons along the way.
As I introduce myself to the students, Coach Stevens stepped in and said, “When someone introduces themselves to you, step up, shake hands and tell them your name.” Then and only then could our interview begin.
“This team has taught me discipline,” said Senior Reginald Kings, who will be attending Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania in the fall.
Former Player Kyle McGuire, who now plays baseball for Macomb County Community College — and has been the object of pro-ball scouts — said, “CMA is a small school that does big things!”
The team is heading to the State Playoffs on May 28.
Stevens also coaches the A’s Baseball Organization, a summer ball club that allows many of these students to play through the summer. He’s now in full gear trying to get funding together to get that team to a championship tournament in Virginia this summer.
For more information, you can contact Coach Stevens via email TEAMCMA1@yahoo.com.