Sharing his work ethic and pride with the Great Lake Canadians program for multiple seasons, Christian Coombes is now ready to take his talents to the next level, as he prepares to join the Garden City Broncbusters in the fall.
Excited to head to Kansas, the Broncs were at the top of Coombes’ list when he prioritized his preferences. It didn’t take long after he expressed his interest for the young pitcher to hear from the school, and head coach Chris Finnegan.
“[Adam Arnold, director of college placement] asked me what schools I would be interested in,” Coombes said. “He gave me a website where I could look up the JUCOs, because that’s where I wanted to go first, and I looked around. That was the one where I really wanted to go, and that’s the one I picked. I told Arnold, and 10 minutes later, they called me.”
Finnegan and the coaching staff at Garden City saw video of Coombes, and after talking to Arnold and the left-hander himself, the commitment was made.
“I chose Garden City because it looked the nicest and things like that, but also when [Finnegan] called me, he had so many things to tell me,” Coombes said. “There are so many different cool things they do there, like they have their own training systems and a personal trainer, which I wouldn’t have expected.
“I would have thought it would have been more on your own, but they are very team-oriented and they work hard to get the results that they need.”
The decision was an easy one for Coombes, whose academic and athletic pursuits can both be achieved in Kansas.
“Education-wise, I always wanted to go into their math program,” the southpaw said. “They have a pretty strong math program, and they can bring me to the four-year school level, and that was the first thing I looked for. And then, they win games, and they’re able to send players to the next level, and that’s what I wanted to see.”
Coombes believes his time with the GLC program helped to prepare him for the next level, and he couldn’t be more excited for the next step.
“GLC is a pretty professional environment,” he said. “Coming to this organization, there’s such a big difference from other places. It’s much more serious and you focus on things that actually develop you specifically as a player. In other levels of baseball, they focus on team – like we do here too – but you don’t necessarily grow as an individual player too.”
Coombes is also looking forward to his final season in the Canadian Premier Baseball League, and playing baseball without the pressure of having to figure out what’s next.
“I feel more relaxed, and now I don’t have to worry about getting into a school anymore,” Coombes said. “So now I can just work on myself as a player, and have fun with my teammates.”
The GLC staff is looking forward to seeing what the young lefty can do in his final season with the program, and then as he continues to move forward into his collegiate baseball career.
“He brings a strong work ethic,” said GLC pitching coordinator Jon Fitzsimmons. “He likes to stay after practice, gets extra work in, puts in extra running, extra strength training, everything. He’s doing everything he can to really take his game to the next level, and it’s been paying off for him.
“He gained four or five miles per hour on his fastball this off-season and he put in a lot of work that way. He’s been constantly working on getting himself back in the strike zone, and we’ve seen a ton of that from him. His stuff on the mound shows that he’s going to have a promising future.”
Coombes can’t wait to take his game to the next level, and the entire GLC organization is looking forward to following along as he does.
“It’s a chance to have the ability to progress,” Coombes said. “That’s what I love to do. And playing baseball obviously is much more fun than school, so it’s something I’ll continue to do as long as I can. Being able to play at the next level is really exciting.”
Added Fitzsimmons: “He’s going to give them a lot of swing and miss. He’s got swing-and-miss stuff and he’s going to show up and compete and work hard. They’re going to get a valuable arm out of Christian Coombes.”