While the weather may not feel like it, it is time to play ball! With practices starting this week for 8u-14u teams, I wanted to personally welcome you to this year's LYBSA season on behalf of the board.
We had a great year last year, and it didn't end when the last games were played. Your board and other volunteers continued to work on the facility into the fall. You will see a different texture to fields 1,2,7 and 10, as we added over 18 tons of calcined clay conditioner to these fields. It was tilled into the top 3-5 inches and then top-dressed. This material will help absorb water during heavy rains, but will also hold that moisture and help keep the fields from drying out and becoming dusty or hard. This will be an ongoing process over the next couple years, as we need to purchase another 20 tons to complete the other fields. At about $350 per ton, we simply couldn't do it all at once.
Over the next few weeks, you will also see work being done to replace the fencing on 6 of the backstops, as they have started to bend and curl and create openings that will now allow balls to fit through. The township has been gracious enough to provide us with the funding to complete this much needed upgrade so that we continue to also work on safety at the park.
You will also notice a new ceiling in the concession stand this year. This will help control dust, as well as help us keep radiant heat out of there, so it should be even more comfortable in there this year in the heat(if it ever comes). Along with the ceiling, we will be finishing the soffit and facia around the concession pavilion.
The township has also comitted more money towards the purchase of playground equipment, and is working with a couple companies to try to maximize the space and budget, so we hope to see some new equipment installed there this season.
The last big construction project for the LYBSA portion of the park is the back pavilion. As you saw last year, we poured the footings and slab. We are still looking for donors to help complete this project. Our plan is for this pavilion to be dedicated to all the volunteers, past , present and future, that make this program run. It will mirror the design of the pavilion in the front of the park. If you or anyone you know might be interested in supporting this project, please contact myself or any board member.
As we start the season, I have a few housekeeping notes:
1) FIELD DAYS - We will be having field days the next two Saturdays, April 12 and 19. Times will be confirmed later this week, but likely 10-2. This will involve general clean-up of the park: raking leaves and debris from fence lines, sweeping out dugouts, and possibly some larger projects on a couple fields.
2) ROCKS - as you will see, during the reconditioning of the fields, many rocks were stirred up on several of the fields listed above. We will be asking for everyone's help to remove them over the next couple weeks. Coaches, please use this as part of the team warm-up before practice. Line them up and walk across the field once each way picking up whatever rocks they can see. If everyone helps with this a little, we can have it cleaned up and in good shape by the start of the season. Unfortunately, many parts of the park seem to grow rocks, so any time we do a major renovation, it is an expected consequence.
3) RAKES - Coaches or parents, we will be placing rakes and hoses at each field again this year. Please take a few minutes after games and practices to simply rake around the bases, and fill in the mound and batters boxes. If you can place some water on those two areas, that is even better, as it will solidify throughout the next day and keep the fields in great shape. By the end of the season last year, everyone was doing a great job of this and we really appreciate it.
4) TOURNAMENTS - LYBSA will again be hosting 5 tournaments this year, including 3 travel and 2 all-stars. While these do tie up the park for the weekends, they are also the main source for income for the league. The money we make from these tournaments is what we use for park improvements, equipment purchases, maintenance, etc. Because of them, the league was able to put almost $25,000 back into equipment purchases and field improvements last year alone, and we all benefit from that. We appreciate your understanding when the park is closed for these, but encourage you to come out, volunteer, and enjoy the atmosphere. These not only bring in revenue for the league, but bring thousands of people into our community to shop, eat and spend the night.
5) PICTURES - We are hoping to do pictures the first or second week of the season and will do our best to coordinate them with a game night for your team, but that is not always possible.
I believe that is it for now. I apologize for the lengthy email. You will be receiving more communication over the next several weeks, and we will do our best to keep all important information and announcements posted on the website, so that should always be your first resource.
As always, please feel free to provide any feedback to any of the board members. This is your league, so we want to hear your ideas too.
See you at the ballpark!
Field Day Reminder
LYBSA Parents and Players:
As our President (Kevin Bushu) mentioned in his welcoming email earlier in the week, we are all blessed to play at the beautiful facility we have here at Lakeshore. In addition, he outlined some of the major improvements the league invested in last year.
Each spring and summer during the recreation season, and during tournaments, we as a community receive a great deal of positive comments regarding how nice our baseball/softball facilities are. WE NEED YOUR HELP !!
Please volunteer some of your time either of the next two Saturdays, April 12th or 19th from 10am-2pm. Some of the projects we will need assistance to complete are listed below:
- Rake leaves from all fence lines
- Rake and remove rocks from the infields
- Cut and remove any ground covering protruding through the surface (specifically Fields 1, 2, 4, 7, & 10...which are the fields that received the 18 tons of calcined clay conditioner resurfacing material)
- Replace pitching mounds and base foundations
- Reset the foul poles on certain fields
- Sweep out all Dugouts
- Remove trash and debris from Indoor Hitting Facility
Please report to the field in which your son or daughter will play their games this season (see below, field Captains listed in parenthesis)
Field 1: 8u Softball (Alphonso Chavez)
Field 2: 10u Softball (Dave Kerschbaum)
Field 3: 8u Baseball (Scott Wessendorf)
Field 4: 10u Baseball (Joel Schubach)
Field 5: Pony League (Mike Pechtel)
Field 7: 12u Baseball (Bob Morris)
Field 8: T-Ball (Chad Zavoral)
Field 9: 12u Softball (Russ Weaver)
Please bring rakes, utility knives, brooms, leaf blowers, and work gloves (and plenty of sunscreen)!
The kids who play on these fields appreciate any time you are able to offer!
Thank you very much, we will see you tomorrow at the facility!
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