UWG Alumni thrive as business partners

West Georgia Sports Academy
Photo Credit: Tim Simpson

Tyler Meigs and Jim Baeumel started their business in an old abandoned warehouse with one batting cage on Cedar Street five years ago. They then moved to a smaller warehouse in Bowdon. Later, they were able to rent and buy a building in Carrollton, with 6,600 square feet. While the two businessmen steadily acquired better property, the building did not fit the vision for the business. As demand increased, there was no room for private lessons and camps because of the cramped space. Recognizing the restraints of these establishments, both owners knew a larger building was crucial if they wanted to continue to build their brand.UWG baseball players Meigs and Baeumel are the owners of the West Georgia Sports Academy (WGSA). They have owned and operated the business since 2011. WGSA, also known as the West Georgia Warriors, now has a new facility. The new building features 10,000 square feet with 7 baseball cages, four pitching lanes and 7,500 square feet of turf. The building also features a lounge area and a large conference room that can be reserved for special events.

This change of scenery was a strategic move by the owners. They redeveloped their business plan, ran the numbers and made their move. Both owners have shared vision for the operation. They envisioned a business that will enhance the Carroll County economy and attract others to come visit because of WSGA. This all stems from a love for what they do and the community they live in.

“We did not want people to feel like they could only come here if they play for one of our teams,” said Baeumel. “We feel like this location gives us the ability to still run our teams but also develop kids outside of the organization. This location also gets us closer and more accessible to the Villa Rica, Temple and Bremen areas than we were in the past. Right now we are off the main highway, so it is easier for people to get to us.”

WGSA offers baseball and softball instruction along with speed and agility training, strength and conditioning, camps and clinics and Warrior travel teams. This is not a one-trick pony operation. The owners have assembled a staff that not only specializes in athletics, but shares the focus and common goal of WGSA: to develop kids on and off the field and make Carroll County a hotbed for young talent. The staff understands how important it is to cultivate the community.

Meigs was the visionary of WGSA. After playing professional baseball for four years and a small coaching stint, he envisioned a place where kids could not only be coached and trained but mentored as well. After coaching and building relationships with a few kids, Meigs knew what he wanted to do and whom he wanted to do it with. He reached out to Baeumel with the idea, and the business was born.

While this idea was exciting and promising, neither owner saw it flourishing at this level.

“We would be lying if we sat here and said the day Tyler called me that we thought we would be sitting here in a 10,000 square feet building with 13 teams,” said Baeumel. “It has been an awesome ride, but we cannot sit here and say we had this master plan. We have been adjusting as we go.”

Meigs and Baeumel both work full-time jobs outside of WSGA, and both have families, but both share a passion for business and coaching kids in their community. Their business has continued to blossom, and it all has happened organically.

“We never spent a dollar on advertising,” Meigs said. “It was all word of mouth. And once that took over, we knew we were on to something here, and we loved it. It became a dream and now it has become reality.”

Meigs and Baeumel take great delight in serving their own area.

“To operate a local business is huge,” Meigs said. “Carroll County is a very close-knit community. It almost feels like you are operating a business amongst family because you get to know so many people.”

WSGA manages almost 20 teams after the high school baseball season is over. The owners have dreams of hosting World Series tournaments and eventually opening a new location in the future. The business is open everyday to the public for individual lessons from former coaches and players.



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