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Chantilly Baseball Newsletter (January 2003)

CYA Baseball Newsletter

January 2003 Volume 1, Number 1

Gearing Up!

As spring is just around the corner, CYA is gearing up for another great season. This newsletter is something that was created by CYA Little League and Babe Ruth to better communicate with our baseball partners you, the parents and players. This is going to be a bi-annual endeavor, with news and information about whats going on in the baseball community in Chantilly.

To begin, Spring registration for all of CYA sports will, once again, be held primarily online at the Web site www.chantillyyouth.org. However, registration will also take place at Chantilly High School on Jan. 11 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. However, as stated earlier, it is much easier to register online, and we encourage all of our CYA families to do so after Jan. 10.

Babe Ruth Spring Season Info

After all the success on the field last year, the CYA Babe Ruth board of directors cant wait to hear those two words, Play Ball, hollered for the first time in 2003. However, before that happens, we need to spend a little time informing and educating our parents as to what can be expected for the season. The first order of business is registration fees for 2003.

As many of you are aware, CYA Babe Ruth fees have never been raised since we made the switch from Little League to Babe Ruth six years ago. We always stood firmly on the fact that if we charged a high enough registration fee; we wouldnt have to ask the kids and parents to participate in fundraising activities like selling chocolate or Bat-a-Thon. However, as times progress, so does the cost to participate. The fees for umpires have risen dramatically over the past 5 years, and the Babe Ruth board of directors have done all they can to keep the fees the same, however this year, it just isnt possible. In addition, this fee has always included an amount that went to CYA directly for administration fees, insurance, etc.

With these thoughts in mind, the registration fee for a child to play Babe Ruth baseball will be $120 per player. You might say, But thats less than last year. Did you make a mistake? No, we didnt. In addition, CYA will charge each player and additional $20 fee that covers insurance, administration, web site maintenance, etc. This additional money will go directly to CYA, as it did before, but without being piped through the Babe Ruth program. So, the total cost per player for the spring season in 2003 will be $140.

Why is the fee so much, you might ask? According to Ed Miller, CYAs Insurance Committee chairman, the fee is as much as it is because During the summer of 2002 and in the wake of 9/11 and $27 billion in losses in the insurance industry, we were formally notified that our policy would not be renewed and that our coverage would terminate on 9/10/02. The termination was not due to anything that CYA had done, but rather was the result of the terminated relationship between our insurance company and the underwriter.

As a result, the best insurance rate premium that we could obtain through our broker was going to increase by about 100 percent per year! We have since switched brokers and insurance companies and, while our annual insurance cost has increased significantly from last year, the increase was only about 30 percent. This increase in cost, along with the creation of a capital improvement fund and new background check requirements, has caused the CYA Board to set the general, administrative, and insurance fee at $20 per registration for 2003.

Unfortunately, the cost of insurance (like everything else!) will likely increase each year. Since the cost of insurance now makes up more than 50 percent of CYAs general fee, the general fee will more than likely increase each year.

Alliance All Stars Bring Home Victory

The Chantilly Babe Ruth Alliance League all-star team went undefeated in District VII play finishing with a 4-0 record.

The team won the first two games of the district tournament against Herndon and McLean behind an impressive 26 run offensive attack. However, in games three and four against two tough teams from Vienna and Arlington, the all-stars found themselves trailing by three and four run deficits. However, in a couple of incredibly exciting comebacks, with parents and fans cheering loudly, this group of battlers rallied to win both games by scores of 8-7 and 11-7, to capture the District VII championship.

Leading the offensive effort that scored 45 runs in 4 games, were Ben Sharpe and Mike Mashinsky with batting averages of .643 and .588 respectively. Chris Hawco and Ricky Raymond were big with the bats as well, each batting over .450. Chris led the team with 7 runs scored. Tyler Sharpe and Matt Gollaway both contributed key hits and had on base percentages of over .500. Michael Morrison drove pitchers crazy on the bases and scored 4 big runs. Ben Zisk and Brian Macdonald had key hits as well, with Brian's 2-run bases loaded double in game 3 triggering the come-from-behind victory. Nolan Maher and Brandon Atkison were not available for the full tournament, but also contributed big in their limited play.

Fred Axelgard and Brad McKinney led the pitching staff. Both were outstanding throughout the tournament. Brad's complete game, 3-hit performance in game 3 against Vienna was huge and Fred filling the role of closer, sealed the other 3 games with near perfect relief. Ben Zisk, Chris Hawco and Mike Mashinsky contributed key innings on the mound, as well.

CYA Babe Ruth Travel Play

Last season, CYA Babe Ruth really made a big splash in the travel baseball pond. The organization had at least one team in each age group of play, all of which competed very well with teams from all over the region. It was our first season with full participation at all the levels, and all involved seemed to be very happy with the results. This season, we will continue the trend of participation in travel league play, and more details will be forthcoming. For more detailed information, please email Brian Walker, the CYA Travel Coordinator, at bdwalk@aol.com.

Little League News

During our spring 2002 season, over 700 boys and girls ages 7 through 12 played baseball in Chantilly Little League. Chantilly Little League is comprised of two leagues, American and National, based on geographic location, with the American League consisting of players who generally live on the western side of Route 50 and the National League drawing from those who live on the eastern side.

In the fall, a non-Little League baseball program is sponsored for the same age group.

Challenger Baseball, coordinated by Todd Dempsey, gives mentally and physically challenged boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, the opportunity to participate in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. Co-sponsored with SYA, the 2002 Challenger Program supported 40 players and participated in the Challenger Baseball Tournament in Virginia Beach, in May. If you are interested in participating, call Todd & Sally Dempsey (703-263-0615) or Brenda Kirschner (703-830-7459).

For the spring season, each League (American and National) is divided into four divisions:

Minors

A -- players who have turned 7 or 8 before Aug 1 but who will not turn 9 on or before Aug 1 of the current year (league age 8). Single-A (formerly Rookie) is our beginning level of Little League play. The emphasis for this age group is to have fun while learning the fundamentals of baseball. The coaches pitch to the batters, and an all-bat lineup format is used.

AA -- players who have turned 9 before Aug 1 but who will not turn 10 on or before Aug 1 of the current year (league age 9). Comprised mostly of league-age 9 players, the AA season begins with the coaches pitching to the batters and gradually evolves to the players pitching; an all-bat lineup format is used. The goal of play at this level is to develop the players skills while learning baseball fundamentals and having fun.

AAA -- players who have turned 10 before Aug 1 but who will not turn 13 on or before Aug 1 of the current year (league age 10 12). This division consists mostly of league-age 10 players and those 11 and 12 year olds not playing at the Majors level. While games are competitive, AAA is designed to be an instructional league, to develop the players skills for entry into the Majors. Managers are encouraged to work with players at all positions, with an emphasis placed on equal playing time. An all-bat lineup format is used.

Majors -- players who have turned 9 before Aug 1 but who will not turn 13 on or before Aug 1 of the current year (league age 9 12). All league-age 11 and 12-year-old players must try out for this division, which is the most competitive and is comprised of the more experienced players. While league-age 9 and 10 year old players are eligible to play at this level, it is a rare exception for players in this age group to be drafted onto a Majors team, and in fact there is a maximum of two 9 or 10 year olds allowed per team. The Little League Board of Directors feels it is important that parents understand that at the Majors level, there are minimum player participation requirements that differ from the Minors. Little League rules only require that a player participate in six defensive outs and bat at least once per game. There is no all-bat lineup in the Majors, and in general, players are settling into a few specific positions in the field. Parents should carefully consider these differences between the Majors and Minors divisions when registering their child.

Because the safety of all players is our top priority, its important that each player participates in the division that is most appropriate to their skill level. Players will be required to register in the level consistent with their league age; any exceptions must be discussed with and approved by the League Vice President on an individual basis.

On-line registration will begin in the mid-January time frame, with in-person registration at Chantilly High School on two Saturdays, January 11 and 18, from 10 am 2 pm. Tryouts for AA, AAA and Majors will be held on Saturday, February 15.  Attendance at tryouts is mandatory for players wishing to be considered for selection to a Majors team. Following tryouts, the players are selected for teams based on a draft. Not every player will be placed on a team in the division for which they tried out, but all players will be placed on a team. The coach will notify players shortly thereafter.

The spring season opens on or about April 15 and runs through the end of the school year. In general, Minors teams play an average of two games per week (one on Saturday, one on a weekday evening), while Majors teams will have some weeks with three games, including a few doubleheaders. Practices are scheduled at the discretion of the individual team managers.

Tournament Teams

To enhance the skills of more experienced players, in addition to the house league teams, a number of teams (American and National Leagues, with specific ages to be determined) will be sponsored for participation in two or three tournaments during the spring, including one in Manassas over Memorial Day weekend. Selection of players to these teams will be based on the house league tryouts and will include input from independent evaluators and current coaches. An additional fee will be involved to cover the cost of uniforms, there may be hotel costs if required because of distance, and additional practices (Fridays or Sundays) will be required during the season. Players who are interested in consideration for selection to a tournament team should make sure to identify themselves during registration and tryouts. Returning Majors players (i.e., those who played on a Majors team during the spring 2002 season) who wish to be considered for selection to a tournament team must attend the February 15 tryouts for this purpose. More details to come!

Volunteers

Volunteers are a critical part of all CYA youth sports programs, and Little League Baseball is no exception. One of the most visible functions during game time is the umpire. All Chantilly Little League adult umpires serve on a volunteer basis. Training is provided by the League. Chantilly also trains youth umpires, generally age 13 and up, who start by umpiring in the field and may progress to umpire behind the plate if qualified. Youth umpires are paid $20 per game ($25 for the plate). Interested? Contact either Bill McKinney (mckinneyX4@aol.com) or Rick Cocrane (rcocrane@aol.com).

Specifically for the spring 2003 season, we need two volunteers to manage concessions, one for Greenbriar and one for EDS. These individuals organize, inventory, buy food and supplies, and generally oversee operations during the season (and post-season, at Greenbriar). Individual teams are assigned responsibility to actually run the stands during games. Is BJs or Costco your second home? Did you like to play store as a kid? If this is right up your alley, please contact Andy Volkmann (avolkmann@cox.net) to find out more.

If party and event planning is more your specialty, you may have just the creativity and energy to help plan the best, most exciting Opening Day ceremonies that Chantilly has ever had. This event, which takes place on a Saturday in mid-April, is key to setting the positive, fun and team-spirited tone for the whole Spring season. Please contact Paul Dzierzynski (pmdzski@cs.com) to get involved.

2002 District 10 Champions

Chantilly fields a number of all-star and tournament teams in the spring season. In 2002, the twelve players of the Chantilly National 9/10 Year Old All Stars were undefeated through post-season tournament play, winning the District 10 Championship. Managed by Dennis Monte and coached by Kevin Eggleston and Joe Ofano, the team built on the skills and experience of its players. Behind the strong pitching of Adam Henne, they focussed on teamwork and strategy, with outstanding results.

The team went on to the State Tournament in Pound, a small town in southwestern Virginia, located in the breathtakingly beautiful Appalachian Mountains just four miles from the Kentucky border. For a week, the team (and parents!) ate, slept and breathed baseball, as they competed against teams from the other 14 districts of Virginia. Heat, sudden thunderstorms and Frisbee in the hotel parking lot were mixed with continued determination and dedication, and the boys proudly finished in third place.

Sniper Victims Fund Donation

Like everyone else in the area, players, coaches, parents and volunteers for the fall season were horrified at the sniper attacks in October, and were terribly disappointed that the season had to be unceremoniously cut short. The following letter was sent on behalf of the Chantilly Little League Board of Directors:

November 13, 2002

Linda G. Franklin Memorial Fund

Gentlemen:

Please accept the enclosed donation of $500 to the Linda Franklin Fund from Chantilly Little League.

We are a youth baseball league in western Fairfax County, and the kids were terribly disappointed when our fall season was cut short because of the sniper attacks. However, in order to keep the proper perspective, we wanted to focus on the tragedy of the real victims in these and other violent crimes.

While our adult umpires serve on a voluntary basis, we do pay older youths to umpire our games, and this money represents the money that we would have paid those individuals if the games had not been cancelled. Please convey our condolences to the Franklin family. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Andy Volkmann

President, Chantilly Little League

To include something in the next issue of this newsletter, please email Jay Polachek, CYA Babe Ruth president, at jay5972@aol.com, or Pete Pflugrath, CYA Babe Ruth secretary, at pflugrath@aol.com.