By BRUCE AULD News Review Correspondent – A third-generation Burroughs academic and athletic standout, Kailer Bachman, has signed to play shortstop with the “Wonder Boys” baseball program. Created in 1909, ATU is an NCAA Division II university competing in the Great American Conference (GAC). Also, a standout student, Kailer’s academic path represents a departure from family history. Kailer’s great-grandfather, Ted Bachman, owned Medical Arts Pharmacy on Balsam for decades. His grandfather, Michael Bachman, Sr., and his father, Michael Bachman, Jr., are dentists serving the Indian Wells Valley at Bachman Family Dentistry. Kailer will be studying electrical engineering at ATU.
During the summer of 2022, Kailer earned the privilege of participating in numerous tournaments nationwide. ATU Head Coach Dave Dawson was scouting players at the Arizona Senior Fall Classic. During that tournament, Kailer tried out for and made the Academic All-Star Team, which allowed him to play an additional game in view of the scouts. Although considering several options, Kailer feels that the ATU Division II offer is the best fit for him. Assistant Burroughs baseball coach, Jacob Bell (BHS 2010), played for Coach Dawson at ATU. Jacob still holds the ATU record for game appearances at 33 in his senior season, with an earned run average of 1.71. I interviewed Kailer at Casey’s Restaurant and learned from both Kailer and Casey that Casey played baseball for Coach Dawson for two seasons at the University of St. Mary’s in Leavenworth, Kansas. “Kailer is very fortunate to be mentored by Coach Dawson!” (Casey Groves)
At the signing ceremony conducted on February 22, 2023, in the Burroughs gymnasium before a crowd of over 100 family and friends, both Athletic Director Michelle Lazaro and Head Baseball Coach Ryan Kaufman attested to Kailer’s strong work ethic, resiliency, and leadership skills. A four-year varsity starter, Kailer’s freshman season was canceled due to the pandemic. In his sophomore season, Kailer recovered from two non-sports-related knee surgeries and baseball-related shoulder surgery. Highly respected by his teammates and coaches, Kailer has served as Team Captain in three of his four varsity seasons. A testimony to Kailer’s commitment to all Burroughs athletics, Kailer served as the varsity basketball team manager for two seasons.
A Ridgecrest native, Kailer spent his preschool years in the Bronx while Michael, Jr. attended dental school at New York University. Kailer began his baseball career in Vacaville while Michael, Jr. was stationed at Travis Airport Base. The Bachmans returned to Ridgecrest when Kailer was in second grade. As a nine-year-old, Kailer began travel ball with the Desert Dawgs. As a 12-year-old, Kailer and his longtime teammates made it to the Super Regional semifinals of the American Baseball League. As a 14-year-old, Kailer joined the So Cal Bombers of Murrieta and has played with them throughout high school.
Burroughs Baseball is off to a great start. As of this writing, the Burros are 6 – 0. Kailer leads the team in “on-base percentage” at .682, with two home runs. Kailer was selected Player of the Game in Burroughs’s 12 – 0 win over Rosamond High School.
“I’m blessed to announce that I will be furthering my academic and athletic career at Arkansas Tech University. I want to thank my family, who has supported me in everything I do, my dad for pushing me every day at practice, Coach Beecroft, Coach Martin, and Coach Smosna for showing me how to play the game the right way from a young age, all my teammates, friends, and baseball family who helped me get to this point, and Coach Dawson (ATU) for giving me this opportunity. Go, Wonder Boys!” (Kailer Bachman)
Kailer will report to ATU in early August. Fortunately for Kailer and the Bachman family, longtime Bachman Family Dentistry receptionist Hope Sizemore Fielder now lives an hour’s drive from ATU.
Bruce Auld’s book ‘The Burros Book A History of Sherman E. Burroughs High School The Mighty Burros’ has been published and is now available at AMAZON Book Store.