(LAS CRUCES) -- Spring training for the Vaqueros is underway. Finding host families for each player has become just as important as winning games.
It's been a year since Bam Davis stepped onto a baseball field.
“The candle is still lite in my heart to play this game. I love it. I’m in Las Cruces, I’ve never thought I’d be anywhere besides New Jersey to be playing, but it just feels good to be out in the field with these guys,” said Davis.
Davis is part of the Las Cruces Vaqueros Baseball team. The organization helps young players pursue the sport professionally.
“Baseball is an independent sport, there’s 9 guys in the field, but we all do our part as a team together and just, if we’re all on the same pace, we’ll have a really good team this summer in the league,” he said.
For the last six months, team leaders have traveled to various states, recruiting players from all over the country.
“We’re all here for one reason because what we love to do is play baseball and we want to win baseball games. We’re all here because this is our number one passion right now,” said field manager, Casey Dill.
Team leaders help players look for housing during the season, but often these host families can be hard to find, forcing athletes to pay out of pocket for hotel rooms.
“It has been a little bit of a challenge to try to find host families. The ones that we have are great, very nice people. They players have told me great things about their living situations right now, but reaching out and trying to find those people have been a challenge for us,” he said.
Host families get full access to the team and coaches. They also get season tickets and a chance to help young athletes full fill their dreams of becoming professional baseball players.
“A lot of host families, go above and beyond – they feed the players. They become a part of their family over the course of the summer,” he said.
The new season for the Vaqueros starts May 9th at Apodoca Park.