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WHYBL 2020 Wrap Up

WHYBL Families and Friends,

Believe it or not, that is a wrap for 2020 WHYBL! Like anything this year, to say “what a ride it was” would be an understatement! On February 26th after one of our free winter clinics, I received this text from a fellow board member:

“…what do we do if the CDC shuts down the league (games, etc.) b/c of coronavirus? I completely realize this is at least 90% bat %^$# crazy. Lol but thought I would mention it in case there are steps we can take now in case it gets bad.”                      

Within the following few weeks of that text, WHYBL free winter clinics, preseason WIP conditioning classes, and our annual player assessments were all shut down. Shortly after that, for the first time in 70+ years, we were unable to play our WHYBL spring season.

However, our board members went right to work in partnering with town officials and Cal Ripken baseball in formulating a season to begin whenever it was safe to do so. We also quickly shifted to providing our players with popular online/social media drills and virtual lessons to #stayhome and be #baseballready.

In June, Phase 2 of the CT reopening process allowed us to get back on the field. We were ready to go, with some pretty hefty protocols of course, as safety was at the forefront of our planning. Although it was going to be a “unique” season, after a few months in isolation, our #1 goal was to provide the children in our community with an opportunity to reenergize their love for sports, teammates and baseball. We aimed for them to have fun with the friends they missed while learning the game they loved - all in an environment that was positive, flexible, and safe.

On June 29th, we finally threw out the first pitch of the 2021 season. We were able to play a 6-week summer season that went on to be fantastic! It was essentially a “lift and load” of our spring season, mixed with the fun of having D1 college and minor league uniforms and team names. Some highlights:

  • The Arizona State Sun Devils beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a thrilling Majors championship game, and the Charleston River Dogs came out on top of the Sacramento River Cats in the Minors final.
  • We were THRILLED to be able to hold our annual 12-year-old All-Star Game and Skills Competition. This is always a very special weekend for our “graduating” 12-year-old players…and it certainly didn’t disappoint this year!
  • We were also able to form one last Travel/District team for our 12-year-olds. The team wound up 15-6, competing in the Cal Ripken CT State Championships and winning the local Ken Hungerford tournament!
  • Our “Great 8s” (8-year-old division) were able to experience some awesome summer night games under the lights at Wolcott Park!
  • Congratulations to Maddy Peterson and Isiah Franklin for being the 2020 recipients of the prestigious Jack Flattery Award. The Jack Flattery Award is presented each year to 2 Majors players who have demonstrated excellent citizenship, sportsmanship and leadership throughout their WHYBL playing years.

The summer season went so well, that the town permitted us to play Fall Ball as well. WHYBL partnered with WHLL for the first time - - building an all in-town program that was flexible, eliminated travel to other towns, and made for some great baseball games amongst friends. The league had 28 teams with 3 divisions (12U, 11U and 8U). Congrats to the WHYBL Frogs and the WHYBL Bulldogs for winning the 12U and 11U titles!

All in all, between summer and fall seasons, WHYBL fielded close to 30 teams and played 14 weeks of baseball with ZERO health incidents to our players. I want to send a HUGE thank you to all our volunteer coaches. Coaching a team of 12+ kids is not easy, and it became significantly more challenging when managing safety protocols in every practice and game. Our coaches took it head on, keeping our kids within the guidelines and safe throughout the summer and fall.

I also want to thank our parents and families for the generosity and support this year. The financial donations that flowed in when our spring season was canceled was heartwarming, and it helped the league to stay afloat throughout the crisis.  Also, your participation in the two surveys we distributed coupled with feedback and guidance along the way helped us greatly as we navigated these challenging times.

So, what’s next? We have already begun working on 2021. Believe it or not, registration for the 2021 spring season will open in just a few weeks. We have received a ton of questions about winter clinics and the use of our indoor baseball center. As of now, we are hoping 2021 will begin the path back to a “normal” season for us…but we will be prepared for anything. Stay tuned for more information coming in the late November/early December timeframe. We especially look forward to seeing our Training League players again…we missed them this season! In the meantime, be sure to give those arms a rest and hopefully the kids will be able to participate in another sport this fall/winter.

Lastly, with the holidays quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to purchase your WHYBL merchandise! 10% of every purchase will come right back to the league. Get some awesome hoodies, winter hats and more for yourself, your players and their siblings! Click this link: WHYBL Gear

As always, please let me know if you have any feedback on how we can continue to improve our league and youth baseball experiences whybl@hotmail.com .

 

Rob Hanawalt

President, WHYBL – A Cal Ripken League

 

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by posted 11/04/2020
2020 Jack Flattery Award

Congratulations to Maddy Peterson and Isiah Franklin for being the 2020 recipients of the prestigious Jack Flattery Award. The Jack Flattery Award is presented each year to 2 players who are nominated and chosen by the team managers from the Majors division. Each player is selected because he or she has demonstrated excellent citizenship, sportsmanship and leadership throughout their WHYBL playing years. Congrats to Maddy and Isiah...so very well deserved!


by posted 07/28/2020
Dick's Sporting Goods All-Star Weekend!

What an amazing weekend we had celebrating our 12-year-old players during our DICK'S Sporting Goods All Star Weekend. First up was the skills competition on Friday night. Congratulations to our winners...each taking home some SERIOUS hardware and DSG's gift certificates!

HR Derby Champion - Josh Mabe
HR Derby Runner Up - Declan Stone
Golden Arm Champion - Ryan Gillis
Golden Arm Runner Up - Joey Andrews
Roadrunner Champion - Jaden Kass
Roadrunner Runner Up - Brody Arsenault

More posts coming this week. A big thank you to our sponsor Dick's Sporting Goods, and to Ray Lamoureux for the great pics taken throughout the weekend!


by posted 07/27/2020
WHYBL 12u Bulldogs- A Summer to Remember

Following their run to the 12u Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, MO this past summer the WHYBL 12u Bulldogs have enjoyed a few opportunities to recognize their magical season. We hope you enjoy the photos of the Bulldogs being recognized in Fenway Park this September as New England Regional Champions and marching in West Hartford's Park Road Parade.


by posted 10/07/2019
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2020 Home Runs

Fall League

Brayden Sohn (Rockets) - 2

Griffin Keating (Moonshots) - 1

Jameson Lamoureux (Moonshots) - 2

Connor Valentine (Jaxx) - 1

Grant Davidson (Jaxx) - 1

Brody Arsenault (Jaxx) - 2

Jaden Kass (Frogs) - 3

Isiah Franklin (Waves) - 1

Yael Ortiz (Frogs) - 2

Summer League

Jeffery Niman (OSU) - 5

Brayden Sohn (Tennessee) - 3

Brody Arsenault (Michigan) - 2

Jaden Kass (Alabama) - 2

Jameson Lamoureux (Alabama) - 2

Josh Mabe (Florida) - 2

Ryan Gillis (Arizona St) - 1

Grant Davidson (Arizona St) - 1

Angel Garcia-Lugo (Michigan) - 1

12u Travel

Brayden Sohn - 2

Tommy Hussey - 2

Isiah Franklin - 1

Jaden Kass- 1

Jeffery Niman- 2

Marc Cheney- 1

 

WHYBL Memories