Cayde Stajcar plays baseball in North Carolina
Eighth Butte student will play for Team Northwest 14U
By Bill Foley
It is not always easy to be Cayde Stajcar.
From a young age, the 13-year-old boy from Butte overheard the conversation. Cayde Stajcar is an incredible animal, a stallion, a man among boys.
He is the Mining City version of Steve Nebraska.
Whenever Stajcar takes to the basketball court, soccer field, track, or especially the baseball field, people expect Stajcar to do great things.
“It can be difficult at times,” Stajcar said of the incredibly high expectations his past performances have helped to create. “Whenever people come to see me, I always have to show myself. I always do my best.
Cayde Stajcar’s legend began when he played basketball on 8-foot hoops as part of the Knights of Columbus Athletic Club’s Little Kids Hoops program on Saturday morning. It all started while he was still in the coaching fields division of Little League Baseball.
He intensified on the grounds of Little Guy Football.
Year after year, Stajcar has met these expectations and more. Those prospects exploded when Stajcar experienced a recent growth spurt, reaching 6 feet and 170 pounds.
By the end of his seventh year, he could dunk a basketball and he could hit the ball from the No. 4 field at Copper Mountain Park.
Matt Stepan, a longtime friend of Stajcar’s father Luke, has coached Stajcar almost every day in baseball.
“I have to see it from the start,” Stepan said. “He’s always had crazy skills, amazing hands, and hand-eye coordination. He always had a special talent. Now he has size.
As he helped lead Butte’s Northwest / Mile High all-star team to win the state title just over a week ago, Stajcar had what cannot be described that like a legendary performance. In the victory that sent the Butte boys to the title game, Stajcar started on the hump and pulled out the top nine Burlington Central Little League players from Billings in order.
He fanned 12 in five innings of Butte’s unbalanced victory.
“This year he’s really developed as a leader,” said Stepan, who has coached the regular season and the all-star season largely on his own. The coach said Stajcar had taken control to make sure the players were ready for training. “It’s a big step he took this year.
Now Stajcar is carrying this maturity and high expectations to the national level. Later this month, Stajcar will play for Team Northwest 14U at the 2021 USA Baseball Champions Cup in Cary, NC. The squad is made up of players from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and northern California.
At the USA Training Complex, Stajcar will compete with the best players his age from across the country.
In addition to his talent and long flowing hair, Stajcar has long been known for his humility as well as his selfless demeanor.
East Middle School principal Keith Miller said Stajcar, who is about to start his eighth grade, is one of the nicest students in the school. Miller said you couldn’t find a better ambassador from Butte and Montana on the team.
Stepan echoed the principal, who is also the Montana District 2 administrator for Little League Baseball.
“His baseball talent is like the 10e thing about this kid, ”Stepan said. “He is humble. He’s a great teammate. This is what sets him apart.
“He gets along well with everyone,” added Stepan. “A lot of times you see this best dog that’s usually surrounded by the other top dogs. He’s just friends with everyone. It really is as good as they come. I enjoyed every minute I had to train Cayde.
Stajcar tried for the Northwestern team in a tryout while playing in a Team Montana tournament last month in Miles City. There, alongside his longtime teammate and friend Tocher Lee, Stajcar played for Team Montana in the CBA Wooden Bat World Series.
“In practice I was confident,” said Stajcar. “Then when I got the email I was pretty excited. It meant a lot to me that I could represent our city.
Stajcar, who turns 14 on August 21, first sent in training videos as an audition to play for Team Montana in the 13U Youth World Series. His tape was apparently pretty good.
“When they saw it all they called and asked him if he could play with the 14-year-old too,” said Luke Stajcar.
On Monday, Cayde Stajcar returned from Sparks, Nevada, where he helped the team become the Silver Bracket Youth World Series champion.
“There was a big complex there,” Stajcar said. “It was all grass. It was pretty cool. I kind of played all around. I played in the outfield and the infield. I threw a few innings.
Stajcar said he felt out of place to play for a team, even though he had never played with any of them before.
“They are all new children. I didn’t know any, ”he said. “I was only able to train with them for a short time. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry, but a lot of the players were good. I felt pretty confident playing with these guys. It’s just different not having that chemistry that I usually have with my teammates.
The talent level will increase a bit when Stajcar travels to North Carolina on August 25-29. He will play for a team coached by former MLB player Erik Johnson.
“Obviously I’ll be playing with some of the best ball players in the country,” Stajcar said. “I’m just looking to do my thing, represent my city and my state.”
In addition to playing for the team, Stajcar will audition for a place in the national team development program in 2022. So Stajcar will use this week to rest before ramping up his training schedule before the trip.
“I’m going to lie down and try to recover as best I can,” he said. “Starting Monday, I’m going to go out on the court every day, strengthen my arm, take balls off the ground, hit, try to fix my swing. I will be preparing to take on some of the best competitors out there.
Stajcar was selected as an intermediate fielder, which makes sense to anyone who has seen how smooth he is playing shortstop. His secondary positions are outfield and pitcher.
Stepan said Stajcar has become even more of a force on the mound lately.
“He’s always been a pitcher, but he became a pitcher this year,” Stepan said. “He’s just competing.”
If there is one sport in which Stajcar has not dominated, it is wrestling. Stepan also trained him on the mats. He said Cayde would kick in training, but he didn’t have the aggression to be his best when it counted.
“He just doesn’t have a nasty bone in his body,” Stepan said. “He really doesn’t.”
Wrestling at a young age, Stepan said, likely helped keep Stajcar humble
“Wrestling will teach you that just as quickly,” Stepan said. “He learned to lose early on.
Luke Stajcar said he and his wife Rissa never had to work to keep their budding superstar down. Cayde’s brother, Coyt, has just finished his career in the American Legion, and his younger sister Lyriq is an outstanding dancer for the Dynamic Dance & Tumbling Academy in Butte.
“He’s always been like that,” Luke said of Cayde’s modest demeanor. “We are really lucky and lucky. He has always been humble. We don’t have to tell him much at all. Our words are simply, “Make sure you do your best. ”
The Stajcars have been blown away by the support from the Butte community since learning Cayde had been selected for Team Northwest last week.
Colt Anderson’s Dream Big Foundation paid Stajcar’s registration fee and bought him an equipment bag to bring his equipment to North Carolina. Montana District 2 Little League donated, and other organizations have also contacted to discuss donations.
Luke Stajcar said several people had contacted to donate. He even overheard an old friend from college asking him to participate.
“It was crazy,” said Luke Stajcar. “Well, I shouldn’t say crazy because there is no better place than Butte.”
Other potential fundraisers are under discussion and donations can be made to Stajcar’s Venmo account (@ Luke-Stajcar).
While in North Carolina, Cayde said it will take some time to soak up all of this as well.
“I want to take a look around,” he said. “I’ve never been east of Montana. I have never been to the East Coast.
Stepan said it probably wouldn’t be the last time baseball took Cayde Stajcar away from Montana.
“This kind of opportunity doesn’t just happen, and it deserves it,” Stepan said. “He’s got a real kick. We could watch him play baseball for a long time.