By Travis Volz
Area ballplayers may not be able to hit the diamond this summer, but that does not mean there is not outlet for baseball and softball players.
Bob Sirtak recently brought his SI Baseball and Softball Academy to Okawville for private lessons for players of all skill levels.
Sirtak is a former professional baseball player and coach who has owned and operated SI Baseball and Softball Academy since 2005.
“I have a passion for it,” Sirtak said of coaching. “I just love working with young people, and I’ve been blessed to coach some great players over the years.”
After graduating from Edwardsville High School, Sirtak played at Lewis and Clark Community College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before playing two years of professional baseball in the Texas Rangers organization.
He returned home and began coaching, first at Gallatin County High School from 2000 through 2004. He also served as head coach of the Harrisburg American Legion team, and he the SI Drillers for four seasons where he amassed a record of 73-16 while winning 11 tournaments.
Sirtak, who has facilities in Harrisburg, Salem and Pinckneyville, recently moved to Okawville to be closer to his daughter Lexi, a soccer player at Truman State University.