Senato Named Head Coach of USA Baseball 14U NTIS
Art Senato has a busy summer ahead. However, since it involves a lot of baseball, he isn’t going to mind one bit.
Senato, the head coach of the South Grand Prairie High School team that annually enjoys great success – including this season – has been selected to be the head coach of the 14-Under Team of USA Baseball’s National Team Identification Series. He’s also coaching the Evoshield Cane-Southwest NTX for 2022 graduates.
“I have two moments I’ll never forget in a baseball uniform. One of them was wearing a USA Baseball uniform and standing before the National Anthem for a game at the Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina,” said Senato. “There is something special about having USA across your chest, and l’m looking forward to doing it again this August.”
Senato was a member of the USA Baseball 15U scouting task force in 2014-15. They scouted events that the 14U NTIS teams play in, such as the one he will leading this year’s 14U squad into in August, again in North Carolina.
USA Baseball has six regions for their NTIS and they will all converge for competition in the August event. Just as he scouted players for the 15U team next season, his players will be evaluated for a possible spot on the team to compete in the 2022 World Championships or the Pan American Games. It was through this organization that Major League Baseball great Bryce Harper made a name for himself.
“It is a tremendous honor to be the head coach of the South Region team. We will be comprised of kids from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas,” Senato noted.
Senato is in his sixth season at SGP and has led the Warriors to the postseason every one except 2020, when there was no postseason because of COVID-19. Prior to that he was at North Crowley and turned a team that was 19-96 the four seasons before his arrival into a playoff regular.
A self-proclaimed “coaching nomad” until he arrived at SGP, Senato has been a head coach at eight other schools, taking all but one to the playoffs.
And yes, he’s thought about coaching in college, but there’s just something about working with high school hopefuls.
“It (college) is something I really wanted to do when I was younger. I’ve had some opportunities in past, but the timing was never right,” he said.
Steering Kids In The Right Direction
“All I can do is steer a kid in the right direction. They have to put in the work on the field, in the classroom, and in the weight room. I can’t want it for them. When a kid I’ve coached goes on and succeeds at the next level, or more importantly in life as a good husband or father, that’s when I know I did right by him. When they come back and tell me thank you for pushing them so hard, that’s what it is all about.”
Senato has helped well over 100 youths go on to play in college, and probably close to a dozen reached the professional ranks, a few even made the major leagues.
“I’ve had more go on to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, pilots, police, firefighters, teachers and coaches,” he said proudly.
Does the upcoming experience with the 14U Team remind him of his own dreams of playing in the majors when he was that age? Sort of, he said, with a smile.
“I had dreams of playing professionally, but the first time a big leaguer hit a ball at me, I knew I was not on that level,” he said.