posted on December 14, 2016 06:14
Orlando, Fla. – A new look is coming for the reigning Florida League champions. The Altamonte Springs Boom, who took home the Whiting Cup in last year’s playoffs, will undergo a complete overhaul under the guidance of new ownership. Bob Rikeman, who recently purchased the Scorpions travel ball program, will bring a new logo, color scheme and name to Altamonte Springs beginning in 2017.
Anyone familiar with amateur baseball, especially in Central Florida, has undoubtedly heard of the Scorpions baseball program. Founded in 1995, they have helped develop countless high schoolers into college baseball players. In addition, hundreds of Scorpions have been selected in the MLB draft, including All-Stars Chris Sale, Zack Greinke and Florida League alumni Jonathan Lucroy.
The Scorpions program was created to help develop youth baseball players into college baseball players. The addition of the Altamonte Springs Scorpions will add another layer to development, as they look to turn college players into pros.
“We are very excited to have Coach Rikeman and the Scorpions program join the Florida League,” said Florida League President Rob Sitz. “The Scorpions have been a leader in helping players get to the next level, which will fit right in with the Florida League’s mission. Coach Rikeman is going to continue developing these players through their college years and bring a quality product to Lake Brantley High School each summer.
Coach Rikeman has been involved with college athletics for many years. Aside from head coaching positions at Framingham State College and Newberry College, he served as the head coach of Rollins College from 1994-2005, and helped the Tars to the Division II World Series in 2004. During his time at Rollins, Rikeman coached Sitz, Florida League Vice President Stefano Foggi and Sanford River Rats Head Coach Kevin Davidson. Sitz and current Altamonte Head Coach Chuck Schall also served as assistants to Rikeman during his time at Rollins. Those relationships helped bring this opportunity for expansion to light.
“I’ve known Rob and KD and Stefano for years,” said Rikeman. “Not only are they great people, but they are some of the best minds in baseball. They have helped the Florida League develop into one of the premier summer leagues in the country in just over a decade. The Scorpions brand will only grow stronger by working with the Florida League, and I am looking forward to a great relationship for years to come.”
For the third consecutive season, Lake Brantley High School will host a Florida League team. In addition to the facilities at Brantley, Scorpion players will also have access to the Next Level Training Facility, which has been home to the travel ball program for the past decade. The private facility spans more than 12,000 square feet and includes batting cages, pitcher’s mounds, a weight room and state of the art hitting and pitching technology.