For Marshall County’s Chase Shelton, the month of August brought many opportunities to further his future in baseball.
The sophomore at Marshall County High School attended the National Team Identification Series (NTIS) in Cary, North Carolina, for USA Baseball’s Midwest Region 16U team during the week of Aug. 11-15. And by the end of the month, Shelted was selected to play for Team 270 during the 24 State Games hosted by Prep Baseball Report (PBR).
“It was a great honor to be chosen to represent the Midwest,” Shelton told The Sun. “And playing at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex for a spot on the 16U USA team.”
With less than 200 young athletes from across the country selected, the program only selects 32 per region. Which gave Shelton, who had limited varsity playing time as a Marshal during the 2021 season as a freshman, an opportunity to show who he is as a player.
“Knowing that I played on the same fields as Olympians and Major Leaguers, it was inspiring,” Shelton said. “It gave you goosebumps to walk into the complex.”
The NTIS utilizes a six-region system for initial player identification with the Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, and Southwest. Each region is managed and operated by a USA Baseball-appointed Regional Direction, responsible for planning and processing the player identification.
When given the opportunity last season, Shelton, a beast on the bases, crossing home plate seven times and stole base two out of four times. And it’s clear, this right-handed pitcher and shortstop will be a force to reckon with for the rest of his high school career in the First Region.
“USA Baseball is more than just baseball. It’s about pride, honor, integrity, and being a good all-around person,” Shelton said. “To even be considered to represent the United States in Tokyo next year is both amazing and awesome. I am truly honored and blessed.”
As Shelton said, those who are selected and participate in USA Baseball’s NTIS program have the opportunity to make the organization’s Team USA.
Shelton’s week in North Carolina featured 12 teams per age group, allowing athletes to participate in workouts and a championship-style tournament while being evaluated by national team coaches and scouts.