Coach celebrates birthday with his team

Published 10:01 pm Saturday, May 19, 2012

Windsor Longhorns Coach Mike Luter holds one of the bat bags he bought to give members of his Pinto and Mustang teams during a celebration of his 40th birthday at Swaders in Petersburg last Sunday. Luter took 19 of his players to the venue for an evening of fun and to help teach them that he believes baseball should help “develop young boys into respectable men.”

Coach Mike Luter treated members of the two youth baseball teams he coaches to a birthday celebration recently in honor of his 40th birthday.

Luter had a limousine bus pick up 19 players, along with parents and siblings, from his Windsor Longhorns Pinto and Mustang teams. The group left from Windsor at 5 p.m. last Sunday and arrived back town at 11 p.m.

The group headed to Swaders in Petersburg, where each of the players enjoyed pizza, drinks and cake in honor of the coach’s birthday. Players also got unlimited game cards and had exclusive entry into the laser tag arena two different times.

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Each of the players received a personalized Mizuno bat bag that listed the Longhorns’ core values of sportsmanship, integrity, teamwork, discipline and respect.

Coach Mike Luter is outfitted for a game of laser tag during his birthday celebration at Swaders in Petersburg.

“I think the parents and siblings enjoyed the evening as much, if not more, than the players,” said parent Judy Cahalan of Carrsville. “The parents and the players are just amazed at his giving spirit.”

Luter’s giving spirit extends beyond his birthday, according to Cahalan, who noted that the coach pays for a batting cage for his players at Sluggers in Suffolk every Sunday afternoon.

Cahalan said Luter explained to the players that baseball is “much more than just a game,” adding that it is “an opportunity to develop young boys into respectable men.”

“He wanted them to remember that if they were to use these bat bags, that he wanted them to remember the words that they carried brought them to a certain level of accountability, and they would have to exhibit these core values, because people in the community would be watching,” she wrote in an email about the event.

After each of their baseball games, the boys on both teams volunteer to recite the “Five Things”: Do good in school; listen to your parents; stay out of trouble; be a good sport; and get good grades.

Other coaches on the team include Mike Luter’s brother, Travis, who is the head coach, and Alan Pierce, Jeff Rogers and Brad Cofer.

“It is just so wonderful for someone to give back to the community,” Cahalan said.