Summer Baseball: A home run of a season
Baseball ended a few weeks ago, after a successful season for all teams.
There were four leagues this past season, Babe Ruth, Midget, PeeWee and T-Ball.
Kevin Leier, Head T-Ball Coach, started coaching after his 6-year-old son, Gryphen, wanted to play. “We had a really great year and spent a lot of time trying to get the kids to enjoy the game and start building the basic fundamentals of baseball,” he said.
There were around 30 T-Ball players total, ages 4-7. “The highlight of the year would be the game we played under the lights for the parents,” Leier said. “The kids got a chance to showcase what they learned and practiced throughout the summer. Overall, I think the goal of having fun and learning about the game of baseball was successful.”
This was Zach Leer’s first season as Head PeeWee coach. “The season went really wellI had a blast,” he said. “I think that one of the best parts about coaching is when something clicks with one of the kids or they catch onto a part of the game that they had been struggling with. To help create the change in performance, along with a change in their attitude, is always a great accomplishment.”
Leer said that throughout the season, peewee players would get discouraged when they could not hit the ball. “When these kids finally would get ahold of one, everyone would cheer as [the kids] would try to hide their smiles. They were just the coolest moments,” he said.
Some of the older peewee players developed skills and knowledge of the game more quickly than others and became front-runners of the team. “They were great leaders and so fun to have on the team, but it was the progression of all the younger players that really tied everything together,” Leer said. “It took awhile for some to get the hang of things, as this was the first organized baseball played by a few of them. By the end, though, everyone had taken quite a few steps in the right direction. All the kids made a great effort to learn the game of baseball.”
Leer said that the kids were extremely disappointed when the season ended. “As a coach, I hope that means I did a good job, but as a baseball fan, I just hope they had fun.”
Mitch Grochow, Head Midget Coach, said that the season went well, even with a few games lost to rain. The team ended the season with an equal amount of wins and losses. “The 11-year-old group was a big part of the team this year because they made up most of the team,” he said. “They are a great group of kids, and they also work hard at any activity they do. All of the kids improved during the year.”
Grochow said that the Midget players’ achievements could really be seen at the annual Father/Son game, in which the kids played against their dads.
Grochow, also the Assistant Babe Ruth Coach, said that the season went by very quickly this year. The season started the first week of June and ended the second week in July. Although a short season, the Babe Ruth team finished successfully, ending 2nd in the region.
Kyler Gingerich both played and helped coach this season, playing in the Babe Ruth league and coaching for Midget, PeeWee and T-Ball. “I believe the 2016 season for Rugby Recreational Baseball was a success from T-Ballers to Babe Ruth players, such as myself,” he said. “Not only did the vast majority of players from each league improve, but we did so in a manner that I am proud to be a part of as a coach and a player.”
Gingerich explained that when the season first started, most of the T-Ballers didn’t know how to grip, throw or catch a baseball the correct way, but after weeks of practice, improvement was obvious. Much like the T-Ballers, peewee players saw enhanced skills by the end of the season. “We learned to catch Popfly’s, hit the ball, appreciate the game, and most importantly, work as a team,” Gingerich said. As for the Midget team, Gingerich said that they saw improvement, had fun, and played with a desire to win.
“I felt this season was a major success, from players learning and winning, to just having a good time with teammates,” Gingerich said. “There were ups and downs, but I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to ride along with their season, regardless of wins or losses.”
Other assistant coaches included Kyle Ebach, Landen Foster, Johnny Mueller, Isaiah Johnson, and Ben Hershey.
Babe Ruth Head Coach was Kipp Johnson, and Kelly Sullivan served as both Head Midget and PeeWee Coach.
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