Summit Junior Baseball
Date: December 18, 2012 Location: Recreation Center
Meeting Called to Order by: Sam Coburn Time: 7:10 PM
In Attendance: Cahill, Calabrese, Coburn, Competiello, D’Andrea, Engmann, Hayford, Isralowitz, McDonald, Miller (Jeff), Miller (Rob), Nardino, Queripel, Semler, Shabinaw, Shannon, Trone, Washburn, and Welsh.
Minutes: Minutes from 11/20/12 meeting were accepted and approved.
President – Sam Coburn: Mr. Coburn welcomed everyone, and introduced four new league directors: Rob Miller (t-ball), Mark D’Andrea (Rookie - 1st), Ken Shabinaw (Rookie - 2nd), and John Semler (Minor - 3rd).
8th Grade Middle School Team Update – Ike Welsh: Coach Welsh reported that on December 7th, he had a kick-off party for any eighth graders interested in participating in the 8th Grade Middle School team. The party was held at the Schaffer house, and there was an excellent turn out of interested players (20 to 25) and their parents. Coach Welsh was able to make a presentation to attendees regarding the team. This was a great opportunity to meet with both parents and future players in an informal setting.
Generally, baseball registration is not until late winter. However, so many other sports in town register early, Coach Welsh felt it was important to bump up the kick-off party to start building excitement for baseball in December. The hope is that boys, who may not normally register for baseball, would give it a try this year. Coach Zaleski, from the High School Baseball team, was also there to build excitement for high school baseball opportunities.
Coach Welsh reported that the kick-off party was a big success, and he thanked Mr. Coburn, Mr. Maldonado and the Schaffers for their help in coordinating and hosting the event.
Tryouts for the team will be the first week in March. The team will carry 15 players and all interested players are encouraged to try out.
Presentation of 2013 Budget Review – Tim Shannon: Mr. Shannon presented a proposed budget for the 2013 year. He went through actual budgets from the last three years. The proposed 2013 budget is consistent with previous budgets. Expenses have been flat through the years, but there was a big boost in revenue in 2012 due to the Elk’s Fundraiser. As a result, there is money available to spend on capital improvements (ex. batting cage) this year. Mr. Shannon provided an overview of the proposed numbers.
**Motion presented by Mr. Hayford: Approve the proposed 2013 budget. Mr. Competiello seconded the motion. Approved – unanimously.
Memorial Batting Cage Proposal & Approval – Sam Coburn & Marc Rind: On behalf of Mr. Rind, Mr. Coburn presented the information regarding the new Mastodon System. The Memorial Field batting cage was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy, and this new system will replace it. The biggest issue at hand is that the site is not level, so a landscaper needs to level the area first before installation. On the site, a 40 x 80 platform needs to be built. Then, the batting system will be built on top of that. There will be two new batting cages with a fence surrounding the system. The floor of the cages will be crushed granite with an inch of stone dust. There is the option to turf the floor, which will be decided at another time. There will be a green vinyl fence that will make the cages less visible to neighbors. In addition, shrubs and trees will surround the area.
SJBB has received several bids from landscapers and is in the process of deciding. The hope is to break ground before the ground freezes.
** Motion presented by Mr. Miller: Approve the Mastodon Batting Cage project for a budget of $50,000 or less. Second the motion: Mr. Calabrese. Approved – unanimously.
Fields – Marc Rind: Mr. Coburn spoke on behalf of Mr. Rind. All fields are closed for the winter.
A question was raised regarding golf carts. Mr. Coburn explained that there are two electric golf carts currently being used at Jefferson and Memorial Fields. They are constantly experiencing maintenance issues. Mr. Rind is exploring the possibility of trading in the old electric carts for new gas-powered golf carts. In addition, the price of new gas-powered golf carts will be compared to new gas-powered tractors as another option.
Registration Update – Patty McDonald: Mrs. McDonald explained that registration is currently open for all spring recreation and spring travel programs. Registration numbers are consistent to those of last year.
There is a big push, this year, to reach bilingual students and to encourage them to register for baseball and softball programs. The registration flyer going out in January will be in English on one side and Spanish on the other.
Evaluation for spring travel teams is tentatively scheduled for January 20th. The thinking is that if travel teams can be picked in early winter, then they will have more time to practice and come together as a team.
Marketing – Matt Hayford:
Equipment: During the winter, there will be one final collection of all equipment. There are many extra clothing items (t-shirts, baseball pants) in the shed that will be distributed throughout the year.
Uniforms: Mrs. Cahill is in charge of uniforms. For the first time, uniform sizes are being requested during time of registration. This should make uniform distribution much easier for coaches this year.
There has also been some discussion regarding changing summer travel uniforms. The current uniforms are heavy and thick, and it would be beneficial to switch to a lighter material for the summer months.
Pizzafest: SJBB Pizzafest, depending on age group, will be held on March 18th, 19th and March 21st at LCJMS. Softball will be holding their Pizzafest at the High School on March 20th.
Public Relations: Mrs. Queripel shared that an advertisement was placed in the Summit Patch Online News Source, during the last week of November, to thank SJBB sponsors for their support during the 2012 season. The ad ran for one week. Free announcements were also posted in both the Summit Patch, and the Alternative Press, regarding open registration for baseball and softball.
Sponsorships: Mrs. Washburn shared that about one third of sponsors needed are now in place. There is an option to sign up online this year, which has been successful. The big push for sponsors starts at the beginning of 2013. Board members were asked to volunteer to follow up with businesses to encourage sign up.
Opening Day: Mr. Hayford mentioned to League Directors that he would like them to start talking about Opening Day festivities and fun ways to start the season. The goal is to get an online newspaper to cover the event.
Elk’s Fundraiser: This was such a wonderful event last year, and planning is beginning for the next one. A tentative date of Friday, April 26th is planned.
Coach Appreciation Event: The Coach Appreciation Event, from last season, needs to be rescheduled due to Super Storm Sandy. A date in late January is being considered.
Picture Day: Ways to make picture day even more successful were discussed. The goal is to get a large turn out since team photos are put on sponsor plaques.
Patriots Night: Patriot’s Night has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 17th.
Operations – David Trone: Mr. Trone said that baseball evaluations, for the recreation league, will be held on February 9th and 10th. He needs up to 15 volunteers to help with evaluations. There will be Frozen Rope evaluators assisting with the process for the first time this year.
Due to a lack of gym space, there will be no winter baseball clinics this year. However, there is still the possibility of running some clinics at Frozen Ropes and their facility. This possibility is still being investigated. In the early spring, there is the hope of running a few targeted clinics for hitting, catching and pitching.
Spring Travel – Jeff Miller: Mr. Miller shared that there will be four teams fielded for spring travel, one for each age level: 10U, 11U, 12U, and 13U. Three of the age groups (10U, 12U, 13U) will be playing in the Sunday only, Union League. The season will begin on March 24th and will end in June.
The Union League does not have an accommodation for 11U, so Mr. Miller is exploring alternative league options.
This is the second year when seventh graders will have their own spring travel team. There will be an outside coach to run the team and it is a great opportunity for seventh graders to play together before trying out for the Middle School team in eighth grade.
Evaluations for spring travel teams will be held on January 20th.
Personnel – Todd Engmann: Mr. Engmann discussed the goal of better training our players at a younger age so that they may play more competitive baseball. In t-ball through 2nd grade, players should have a fulfilling team experience while learning good basic skills. More training for coaches and better player development will only help the league through the years. Grade wide practices will be scheduled on Saturdays, in lieu of games, so that players may work at different skill stations. Boys can practice at a pace comfortable to them with stations being adjusted to a higher or lower level depending on player ability. The idea is to challenge players while making the whole experience fun.
Summer Travel is a more competitive baseball experience and most other town teams are fielded by age. In Summit, our teams are fielded by grade. As of this year, that will change and kids will be placed on teams according to age with an April 30th or May 1st cut-off. The purpose of this is to be able to play more competitive baseball. When grouped by grade, some boys are playing against kids who are at least a year older in other towns. Skill levels are different, and as a result teams are not as successful, which is affecting morale. SJBB, as a league, will benefit and will be in a better position when players are playing on age appropriate teams.
Softball – John Calabrese: Mr. Calabrese shared that registration is going well for softball. Softball clinics will begin in February, which is closer to the beginning of the season, to ensure better skill retention. Instead of conducting once a week clinics for ten weeks, there will be twice a week clinics for five weeks. Clinics will be done with Frozen Ropes for the younger girls, and Rich Vaccaro will run the clinics for the older girls at his facility.
Meetings have already been held with Madison and Chatham to get ready for the spring season. Fifth grade to 8th grade girls participate in a tri-town league. The season will most likely begin in late March.
New Business (All Board Members):
Mr. Coburn discussed moving the Board Meeting time from 7 pm to 7:30 pm. Most board members preferred the later starting time. So, the January 22nd meeting will be moved to 7:30.
Meeting Adjourned At: 9 pm
Minutes Compiled By: Alexandra Queripel, SJBB Recording Secretary