Academy Notebook: The Youth Academy & Buckner International; Positive Coaching Alliance Coaches Clinic; Academy Athletes excel at Future Stars Series

January 28th, 2022

Buckner International programming at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy

The Texas Rangers Youth Academy goes beyond baseball and softball to help the North Texas community flourish with help from non-profit partner Buckner International. The Youth Academy’s four state-of-the-art classrooms inside the Globe Life Training Center house a satellite Family Hope Center operated by Buckner International since 2017.

Through baseball and softball programming offered at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy, Buckner can reach even more families throughout North Texas, including the thousands of young athletes who live within the West Dallas neighborhood. To provide impactful services to children and families, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Buckner International conducted rigorous research to tailor their offerings to the community’s needs.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Buckner International and support our students in every way we can,” said Jesse Malone, manager of Youth Academy outreach and education. “As always, our mission has been to develop major league citizens, and by partnering with Buckner, we can do that through mentorship, classes and teaching life skills. We want to help our athletes succeed on and off the field, and we believe we are doing so with this partnership.”

Throughout the year, a variety of youth programs are available, including academic assistance, one-on-one and group enrichment, summer camp and life skills programs. Additionally, Buckner provides adult programs in English and Spanish such as job skills training, financial empowerment courses, family coaching and parent support.

“These courses empower our families to go after their short- and long-term goals and provide skills that can be utilized within the home,” said Keri Pettis, manager/director of the Buckner Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy. “For example, our life skills and parenting support courses encourage families to communicate more, ultimately building healthier relationships in the home.”

In 2021, Buckner and the Youth Academy hosted a variety of classes and events for families in the West Dallas community. Students enrolled in creative arts camps, coding classes, healthy cooking workshops, leadership seminars and tutoring sessions. Adult classes included Comerica Money Sense Workshops, the Sweetheart Single Moms event, nurturing parenting classes and the faith & finance course.

Outside of the classroom, families attended the Father’s Day baseball game and Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, as well as free distribution events for school supplies and Thanksgiving meal kits.

“Courses provided by the Buckner Family Hope Center are more than just an opportunity to complete a class…By taking a proactive approach, Buckner works to break the cycle of neglect, abuse and removal of a child from home by building strong families in the community,” said Pettis.

Current courses available for enrollment include virtual Teen/Tween Nights, designed by Buckner to provide a meeting place for peers to discuss everyday challenges, develop life skills like problem-solving and decision making, and participate in fun and engaging activities. Additionally, for adults, Buckner and the America Bible Society Trauma Institute have opened a seven-week virtual trauma healing group that unites proven mental health practices and engagement through the Bible.

“The partnership with the Rangers is so important because it allows Buckner the chance to expose their core curriculums, events and programs to a demographic of people that are already pursuing opportunities for their children,” said Pettis.

To register for free Buckner International classes and events happening year-round at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy, visit

Positive Coaching Alliance Coaches Clinic

The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Coaches Clinic will be held at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy this Saturday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m. Coaches from across the DFW area will attend the free clinic that focuses on developing Triple-Impact Competitors through double-goal coaching.

The PCA Triple-Impact Competitors course emphasizes the unique challenges of high school athletics, like increased pressure, balancing athletics with academics, and the desire to play in college.

Participants will share ideas on:

  • how to tackle the most significant coaching challenges at their school
  • how to succeed on and off the scoreboard, and
  • how to maximize their ability

Coaches will leave this PCA clinic armed with information to improve the lives of their athletes on and off the field. The Texas Rangers Youth Academy has enrolled its coaching staff in Positive Coaching Alliance workshops for many years and has seen its benefit first-hand.

In 2021, three Texas Rangers Youth Academy athletes won Positive Coaching Alliance Triple-Impact Competitor scholarships for their hard work on the field, in the classroom and around the community. Their journey to becoming award-winning athletes began with a coach who took the time to become educated and learn leadership skills through this PCA Coaches Clinic.

Registration for tomorrow’s PCA Coaches Clinic will remain open through the start of the event. To register for free, visit

Texas Rangers Youth Academy athletes rank among North Texas’ best ballplayers at Future Stars Series

Last weekend, 10 of the Texas Rangers Youth Academy’s top baseball players attended the invite-only New Balance Future Stars Series Regional Combine. The skills, training and evaluation combine brought nearly 100 athletes from across North Texas to Johnny Oates Field.

Before the players receive their scouting report, developmental plan and highlight videos, the New Balance Future Stars Series released initial data for the combine's top performers. Texas Rangers Youth Academy athletes were among the best in several categories including, triple jump, long jump, 60-yard dash and pro agility running.

Academy athletes ranking in the Top 25 out of 100 participants at the Future Stars Series Regional Combine:

60-Yard Dash

No. 8 Austin Phillips – 6.64
No. 16 Joshua Ortiz – 6.75
No. t-18 Anthony Winters – 6.8

Triple Jump

No. 3 Anthony Winters – 30’3
No. 15 Romel Garcia – 27’0
No. 18 Casey Walls – 26’9
No. 22 Joshua Ortiz – 26’2

Broad Jump

No. 3 Austin Phillips – 9’0
No. 8 Ajani Lyons – 8’11
No. 11 Anthony Winters – 8’10

Pro Agility

No. 6 Anthony Winters – 4.56
No. 10 Ajani Lyons – 4.62