Having sons involved in sports with a talented group of 10-year-old athletes, fathers Ross Sullivan and Phillip Bostic decided to keep the boys playing together nearly year-round.
The two men started a travel league organization for basketball and baseball, with the first season starting last October. Since the majority of the athletes were students from the Western school district, the league was named Russiaville Rockets. The league now has grown into a great organization, according to Bostic.
“(We’re) just two dads who went in together and started doing travel sports for both basketball and baseball. It’s grew into a good little organization, a great group of parents. Ross does all the head coaching, and I kind of do the sponsorships and management of the whole group and stuff like that,” Bostic said.
The Rockets finished its baseball season late last month after starting the travel season in late June with a record of 14-7. The team played a total of five tournaments this year, including earning the title for the Summer Savage Showdown and coming in second for the USSSA Slumpbuster Tournament.
Basketball season will start in October and end in late February. The Rockets will play in the Indiana Youth Basketball League (IYBL) fifth-grade division at Grand Park in Westfield, the Pacers’ Fieldhouse, Finch Creek Fieldhouse, Carmel’s basketball complex, and the Indiana Basketball Academy. The Rockets will play a doubleheader every weekend. Last year, the team took the championship win for the fall session and placed fifth in the winter session.
Currently, the 10U team has 13 boys on the baseball team and 11 on the basketball team. Bostic said he and Sullivan considered putting together an 8U team as well. Although the two also have coaching help from Brandon Boles, without the help of more coaches, more teams would not be possible, according to Bostic.
“[Sullivan] has a younger son, and I have a younger son. We thought about putting an 8U team together and doing two teams but not being only two dads and a smaller organization and sponsorship,” Bostic said.
Additionally, Bostic said the coaches were content with the group of athletes and families currently but wouldn’t be opposed to other boys and families joining.
“We’re always up for new things, but I think we have a good group of kids that we’ve coached and been with since they were about 6 or 7. And it’s grown a great relationship and pretty well a family bonding between not just the players but the families and the parents also,” Bostic said.
The athletes’ brotherhood not only is apparent off the field, Bostic said, but also on the field when the players show up with a lot of motivation, heart, great sportsmanship, and teamwork. Additionally, the boys respond well and respect the coaches. Bostic said he and the other men could not ask for more.
“They back each other up and support each other during each game … They lift each other up when somebody’s down on the field and help each other out. The style of coaching that Ross does is pretty aggressive, and they handle it very well. They learn from him, and they treat him like a father figure. I don’t think a coach could ask for more than that. They give it their all,” Bostic said.
For the future of the league, the men plan to move up in age divisions as the boys grow up. Bostic said he wasn’t sure what would happen to the league after the athletes no longer can play in the travel leagues.
“To be honest, I don’t know. I haven’t even looked that far ahead, maybe hand it down to another dad or something, to somebody that has the love and the passion for the sport as what Ross does in coaching … If he brought me someone that I thought would represent it well, then yeah, I would hand it off,” Bostic said.