Niles’ catcher has spent all summer preparing to play at the next level

Published 9:25 pm Saturday, July 31, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
For Niles baseball player Cory Coquillard, baseball hasn't been a sport this summer. It's been a full-time job.
The Vikings' standout has traveled the country since school got out, working out for Major League Baseball scouts and playing in tournaments with his traveling team. But to Coquillard, the game never gets old.
Coquillard batted .393 last year as a junior at Niles, grabbing the attention of several pro scouts. The recognition landed him tryouts for the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays this summer.
In early July, Coquillard, a 6-foot, 200-pound catcher, attened the White Sox tryout at Butler University in Indianapolis.
The tryouts aren't as much a chance to make the team as they are a way for pro teams to do in-depth scouting.
The White Sox tryout was a larger one, with 80-90 participants from all over the Midwest, Coquillard said. While there, scouts timed how fast he could run and throw to second base. Coquillard also took some batting practice.
Two weeks ago, Coquillard went to the Devil Rays tryout at Plymouth (Ind.) High School. He said he did much better at the second tryout, but the field was much smaller, with players mainly from Indiana and Michigan.
Vota said the professional tryouts are a great way for Coquillard to get some exposure, but that he probably won't go pro right out of high school. The camps are just a means to market Coquillard and get his name out there with pro teams.
Coquillard agreed that, while playing in a MLB team's farm system would be a dream come true, he'll most likely go to college.
Instead, Coquillard is looking to play college ball somewhere in the south, where the warmer weather would allow him to play year-round. He named Vanderbilt and Tennessee Tech as potential suitors. He added that Northwestern has contacted him, and he might be interested in Missouri.
When not at professional tryouts, Coquillard has spent his summer playing for the Kalamazoo Maroons. He is currently with the team in Tennessee, playing in a tournament.
Coquillard estimates he will play 80-90 games with the Maroons by the time the summer ends.
So far, Coquillard has played in Tennessee and Missouri with the Maroons, to name a few places. Near the end of the summer, the team will play in a tournament in Ontario, Canada.
After the Maroons' summer season ends, he gets a few weeks off, then heads right back for the team's fall season.
As well as working hard on the diamond, Vota said Coquillard works hard in the classroom. Last season, Coquillard was named to the All-District and All-Conference teams for both athletics and academics.
Coquillard has a 3.7 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale at Niles. Once in college he said he wants to either major in education and become a teacher/coach, or major in business.