COLUMBIA — Jaide Rose, a senior on the Rock Bridge baseball team, doesn't have to go far to play.
At the end of their cul-de-sac, the Rose family owns 11 acres of land where Rick Rose, Jaide's father, built a field for his son and the Bombers, a Little League Baseball team Rick Rose began coaching when Jaide Rose was 13.
MSHSAA Class 4 State Semifinals
Rock Bridge (19-13) vs. Fort Zumwalt South (26-6)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Meador Park in Springfield, Mo.
"Not every kid can say that they have a baseball field in their backyard," said Nick Little, a Rock Bridge and Bombers teammate.
Rick Rose used to play high school baseball in Illinois and was estatic when he found out his son was interested in playing. Rick Rose's guidance and passion for the sport influenced Jaide Rose to make baseball a big part of his life and has helped build Jaide into a successful player and leader.
"My dad inspired me to play baseball," Jaide Rose said. "I consider him one of my best friends, and he has taught me everything I know."
Rick Rose coached the Bombers to four straight championships from 2003 to 2006 at the Show-Me State Games, and went 185-24 during their four-year USSSA League championship run. Rick Rose said he wanted to teach his son accountability and responsibility through baseball.
"You have to be careful as a father when you are coaching your son," Rick Rose said. "If anything, I was actually harder on him."
Jaide Rose excelled as a player throughout high school. He started on the Rock Bridge junior varsity team as a freshman and on the varsity team his sophomore through senior years. In 2008, Jaide Rose made the Missouri Junior Sunbelt Team, made up of that year's best high school juniors. He also played quarterback for the Rock Bridge football team his freshman and sophomore years. Jaide dropped football his junior year when he decided to fully dedicate himself to baseball.
"I saw baseball as something I could really excel at," Jaide Rose said.
Rick Rose has had Jaide Rose work with people involved with professional baseball, such as Jake Whitesides, a former minor league ballplayer and Kevin Cullen, a former MU pitching coordinator, who is now a scout for the Cleveland Indians. Jaide Rose also works with a personal trainer outside of baseball practice.
With three years of varsity experience, the most on the Bruins, Jaide is the team's natural leader. He encourages his teammates to attend the optional preseason practices and helps them when they are struggling.
"He has always been a vocal leader on the team and everyone respects him," Little said. "Anyone on the team can go to him when they have problems."
Jaide Rose pitches and plays in the outfield for the Bruins. He said he has not performed as well as he has in previous years, but Bruins coach Justin Towe said he is an important part of the team.
"On any given day, Jaide can play any position and do many things," Towe said. "He is a two-way player, which you don't see very much. He's got a live arm and has all the tools to be a successful ballplayer."