For most children, it is a wonderful feeling to be successful at a local level. That’s nothing new to local 5th grader Kurt Felix, who is now 9 years old.
For the third year in a row, he has traveled to San Diego to compete in the Regional contest. However, it seems that the third time might be the charm for Felix, as he took first place in his division in May.
Felix will be the first competitor from Mesquite, Nev. to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio in July for the National Pitch, Hit & Run competition if his scores are in the top three of his division. The final announcement will be made in July. Until then, Felix, his family and coaches are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that he will be competing.
“With a big grin on his face Kurt was recognized as the 9-10 year-old winner at the beginning of the Padres vs. Pirates game on Saturday, May 31,” said a press release from Nick Montoya, Interim Director of Athletics and Leisure Services. “When asked about his experience Kurt said ‘it was awesome to be able to play on the Padres field and to talk to Derek Norris.” (Favorite Padres player.) With over 75,000 participants in his age group nationwide Kurt is now one of 30 qualified for Nationals but will only be asked to participate if his score is one of the top 3 of the team winners.”
Last week, Montoya stated that he (on behalf of the City of Mesquite) was very proud of Felix and how well he has done with his athletic career, even at a young age. “This is amazing for the Virgin Valley Little League also, because it shows that our kids can compete with those bigger kids. He’s got heart, he’s athletic and he’s gonna get it done,” Montoya said.
“The neat thing was that he was the on the younger end of his age group this year,” said Felix’s mom, Amy.
Felix’s favorite moment of the presentation, though, was having his name called, with a photo on the jumbo-tron and talking with the players he idolizes.
With school out for the summer, Felix will continue to develop his skills by competing with a traveling baseball team that competes throughout Utah and Southern Nevada. He’ll also be busy with the Manta Rays Swim team this summer. But baseball will remain his favorite for the time being.
“We’ve been running the Pitch, Hit & Run for almost 16 years now and we’ve never had anyone make it this far in this competition,” said Montoya. When Felix was asked how he felt about being the first, he said “it’s kinda cool.”
“I think it’s exciting, it’s fun,” said Jon Felix, Kurt’s dad. “We’re glad that Mesquite has this to offer… we’re going to do what we can to develop his ability as long as he enjoys it.”
“My brother has helped me a lot,” said Felix, in reference to his older brother, Logan, who is 15 years old and a player on the Virgin Valley High School team. Logan was a competitor last year at the same contest.
If Felix continues on his path to athletic excellence, he is sure to be in the spotlight for many years to come. He will be able to continue competing in the Pitch, Hit & Run for another five years, until he is 14.
For now, everyone is anxiously awaiting the news on if he will be chosen for the national competition in Cincinnati.
For a video on the competition, which features Felix, Click Here.