The Power of Believing in Someone

When the idea came up to write about my career and the story of Sticks Baseball for Texarkana Magazine, I really had no idea if anyone would be interested. Years of trying to inspire everyone around me have led me to believe that if one article, or one interview, can impact even just one person, then it is worth sharing. I hope that my story is inspiring to someone and will help motivate them to chase their dreams.

Without former Texas High head baseball coach Glen Welch, assistant coach Scott Mennie, and former head football coach and Athletic Director Barry Norton, there would not be a Chase Brewster success story to write about.

Those three believed in me when I had no reason to believe in myself. One of the biggest blessings in my life, now almost 20 years later, is that I still consider all three of these men great friends, and I still have a relationship with all three to this day.

Coach Welch encouraged me to be a part of something that I knew absolutely nothing about and taught me how to fit in even when I did not belong. Coach Norton taught me how to carry myself like a professional and how to always dress and act the part. Coach Mennie taught me everything I know about being organized, prepared, and knowing right from wrong.

These three men completely changed my life in ways I can never repay them, and they did it without even trying.

Our mindset at Sticks Baseball is to try and help and encourage every kid we can that comes through our program that their dreams are within their reach, just like these coaches did for me. Some players are preparing to make their high school team or to try and start on varsity. Some players are looking to accept a college scholarship or to get their name called in the MLB Draft, hopefully. Instead of adults deciding what seems realistic or unrealistic to a high school-age kid, we hope to use our baseball program as a platform for players to achieve their goals and hopefully travel the country at the same time playing the game that they love.

As adults, we are so quick to decide what someone is and is not capable of when they tell us their dreams. If I had told someone my dream was to run one of the top summer programs in the country when I was 15 years old, literally everyone would have laughed at my dreams. Luckily, I had great coaches and mentors at Texas High who gave me the best experience a high school student could ask for.

I had other great mentors after high school. My dad, Dave Brewster, has been a consistent voice of “why not you” since I started coming up with different business dreams. He was a former music DJ and concert promoter, so he knew first-hand what it was like to have a dream that no one else initially saw. He taught me never to give up on a dream just because someone else does not believe in it. That is why it is my dream and not their dream. I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for me and for pushing me to follow all my dreams. My brother, Dylan Brewster, has also played a huge role in my life, believing in me every step of the way.

At Texarkana College, head coach Will Bolt taught me the difference between thinking that you are working hard and working hard on what matters. Assistant Coach Justin Seely taught me everything I know about recruiting players and building relationships and taught me to believe in the player as a person, not as an athlete who may win you games. Assistant Coach Brad Flanders taught me the words to every Stoney LaRue song I never knew existed and that everything mattered, from the uniform designs to what music was played on the way to the games.

Two years later, Coach Bolt invited me to coach on his coaching staff, where he taught me everything he knew about practice planning and game strategy. Coach Bolt and Coach Seely both played for Coach Dave Van Horn at the University of Nebraska. Life comes full circle as now Coach Van Horn is a friend of mine, and the Arkansas Razorbacks have recruited more Sticks players than I can remember at this point. The stories of Coach Bolt playing for Coach Van Horn are still what I remember the most whenever someone talks about Coach Van Horn.

Genoa Central Head Coach Jonathan Gosdin welcomed me onto his coaching staff and High School Principal Debbie Huff welcomed me into a classroom for the first time at Genoa after my run at Texarkana College. I am forever grateful for these two people, as they taught me the true meaning of responsibility. I learned things under Coach Gosdin that have helped me run a full-time business over the last seven years that no college or internship could have ever given me. The ability to remain calm in the middle of chaos rubbed off on me and is a trait that I am now proud of.

After two state championships, five conference championships, and four regional championships in seven years, my time at Genoa Central eventually ended. All the memories made will last a lifetime, and I will always consider myself a Dragon at heart. Getting to finish out my time at Genoa Central working with TJ Cox are some of the best days of my career and helped make me a better person and coach. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Starting Sticks Baseball in 2016 seemed more of a hobby with endless hours than a full-time job, but slowly I realized I was wrong.

Eventually, the Sticks grew into something no one could have pictured in 2005 when Coach Welch helped me fall in love with baseball. We now average more than 20 high school teams playing every summer, with 350 to 400 high school players wearing a Sticks uniform at any given time. Although most players are from Arkansas and Texas, we now have Sticks Southwest in Arizona and Sticks Northeast in New York. We also have a partnership with the Mississauga Tigers in Ontario, Canada.

On the youth side, Texarkana legend and ten-year MLB player Shane Halter runs our teams in Texarkana and has over 15 teams yearly. We also have more than 15 Sticks youth teams in the Jonesboro, Arkansas, area run by Cory Lambert, to go along with several teams mixed in around Central Arkansas. On the softball side, former Texas High baseball standout and MLB Draft pick Kameron Forte is now running our Sticks Softball program, which has quickly become one of the most recognizable softball programs in the country.

Sticks Baseball has become a brand and a culture across the United States and Canada. Players and parents from across different time zones end up spending multiple summers together and making lifelong friendships. This past summer, one of our players, Nolan Souza, from Hawaii, came to Texarkana to stay with teammate Ty Waid to train and work out between tournaments. Both are Arkansas Razorback commits. There is little to no reason for a player from Hawaii to be in Texarkana working out other than Sticks Baseball helped bring them together.

I cannot thank Steve Landers Jr. enough for giving me the vision to take my small goals and dreams and turn them into national visions of being the best summer baseball program in the country. I could not ask for a better mentor through this entire process. As I now begin to mentor players and coaches myself, I hope to help change their lives with advice and guidance, as Steve and others did for me. There have been so many mentors in Texarkana who have helped shape me as well. I cannot thank people like Kyle Davis, Mike Cobb, Morgan Smith, Olivia Shepard, Kyle Slayton, Cedrick Harris, Jared Washington, Kevin Huff, Bro. Tim Montgomery, and so many other people, enough for helping make me who I am today.

When my wife, Alisha, and I married in 2019, all five ushers were former Sticks players. All of this happened organically, as these players played a huge role in our life and relationship. Former Ashdown star and current Colorado Rockies player Jaden Hill walked Alisha’s mom down the aisle at the wedding, and Cason Tollett from Little Rock, Arkansas, escorted my stepmom. These were very important moments in our life, and we wanted people who meant so much to us to be a part of them. Now, three-plus years later, Cason is coaching with us, and my wife and I set our schedule every Wednesday around watching Jaden pitch on TV. I hope to inspire our players with how they see Alisha and me interact daily to see that she is a huge part of my and the Sticks' success. I cannot thank her enough for always being so supportive and understanding. Marrying her was the best decision I have ever made.

Hopefully, the story of Chase Brewster — and Sticks Baseball — has many chapters left to write. Our top team, 3n2 Sticks Baseball 17U Brewster, was recently named the Chicago White Sox Scout Team and will get to represent the MLB team for the foreseeable future. For the players and coaches to get to wear the exact same uniforms that their MLB players get to wear is something that is not taken for granted. It is a surreal moment to know you are representing something bigger than yourself and bigger than the Sticks.

This past October, the Sticks/White Sox were one of the teams selected to play in the big tournament of the year, Perfect Game’s WWBA 18U Tournament, in Jupiter, Florida. This was our first time representing the White Sox and wearing their gear. Being the head coach of the team and having Coach Welch there as one of my assistant coaches was one of the coolest moments of my career and another full circle of life moments. Texarkana would have been so proud of how Pleasant Grove’s Brenton Clark and Arkansas High’s Ty Waid played in this event. Ty finished with the highest batting average in the year's biggest event.

The next wave of great athletes in our city is on the way with players like Kale Looney, Ike Sheppard, Chase Harrison, and so many more that have such great role models to look up to on the field, like high school players Waid and Clark, but also people that believe in them off the field. The amount of love and support people have put into youth baseball, football, and basketball is at an all-time high. The city of Texarkana is in a great place, both with athletics and with the power of belief in those athletes.

Being able to help give back to the Texarkana community in so many ways has been one of the greatest blessings I could ask for as a business owner. The story of Chase Brewster and Sticks Baseball is not a sports story. It is a story about how people believed in me when they did not have a reason to. For me to play a very small part in getting to watch our players live out their dreams, have been everything I imagined when we started the Sticks. I cannot thank the players and the parents enough for believing in the Sticks. With a little bit of belief, you can change the world. I want to help everyone who plays for the Sticks and believes in them, as Coach Welch, Coach Mennie, and Coach Norton all believed in me.

Belief is such a powerful thing.


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