Transitioning from Regular Season to Playoffs and Beyond
July 8, 2014
As the Legion regular season winds down (Seniors, Juniors and Sandlot regular seasons are complete, Prep has one more week left), it's important to take note of what the Bulldog Program has accomplished to date this season, and use it as fuel to continue the momentum into the playoffs and beyond!
SENIORS: After a 2-4 start, the team turned on the jets and finished strong winning 7 of its last 9 games. That incredible hot streak secured the Bulldogs second place in the league, and a bye in the first round of the double elimination playoffs. Coach Shane Raines and team await their first playoff game on July 10 at SHMS. A trip to the championship game ensures a seat at Regionals in Spring City as both Playoff Champ and Playoff Runner up go on to the next stage and fight for the right to represent at States in Boyertown, starting July 30.
JUNIORS: Coach Joe Martin and team came into this year with big expectations, and so far the season has not disappointed. After kicking off the season with the Wayne Memorial Tournament Championship, the Junior Bulldogs completed a perfect 16-0 regular season, winning the Main Line League title and securing a seat at Regionals in Pottstown (starting July 26). There is still business to attend to as the Bulldogs enter the Main Line Playoffs this week as the top seed, and await their first opponent on July 10 at Henderson Field. Winner of the Main Line Playoff Championship (if other than the Bulldogs) will go to Regionals in Scranton. Onward and upward towards what the Juniors hope will be a Regional title and a chance to represent at States in Freemansburg starting August 2.
SANDLOT: Skipper Scott Renauro has had his Sandlot Bulldogs firing on all cylinders the entire season. The Bulldogs played consistently week after week, getting contributions across the entire roster. Because of this, it's not surprising the team amassed a 17-5 record, locked up second place in the SEPA Sandlot League, and earned a first round bye in the playoffs. And here is the best news: by taking care of Conestoga in the second round playoff game July 7th, the Sandlot team has punched it's ticket to Regionals starting July 19 in Oxford! First thing's first, focus on the playoffs this week!
PREP: While there are still 3 full games, plus a suspended game to finish before July 12th, the Preppies (as Coach Josh Throckmorton likes to call them) are in great shape for a strong end of season finish and deep run into the playoffs. The Prep team at 11-7 currently sits in 4th place out of 12 teams in the Del-Mont Prep League (only 2.5 games out of first). As the top 4 teams earn a first round bye in the playoffs, the Bulldogs are sitting in a very enviable position with the playoffs in sight. While it is still too early to determine which team(s) will earn the right to represent our league at States in Whitemarsh starting August 2, the Bulldogs have as good a chance as any to make a successful run in the playoffs. Given all 15 players have seen quality playing time this season, the team is prepared to play its best and execute on the game plan.
INTERMEDIATE/INDEPENDENT: If the above wasn't enough baseball for our community, the newly formed NP Intermediate/Independent team is about to wrap up its regular season. The team is currently 6-6 with a chance to make some noise in the upcoming league playoff. As this team and league represents a first-year endeavor to allow more of our 16-18 year old boys to play summer ball, we look forward to the playoffs and the added excitement this team will bring to the post season. Many thanks to Mark Royer (in addition to some of the above named Coaches) for leading this team on its maiden voyage this year.
With that as a review, the Legion Leadership team and NSB Board give thanks to all the players, coaches, families, fans and volunteers who have made this Legion season a special one to date. We have more work to do, so let's wish ALL the Bulldog teams best of luck in their collective post season runs. Our community looks forward to enthusiastically supporting these 5 teams every step of the way (and with utmost sportsmanship)!!
Memorial Day Weekend Events and Thanks!
May 26, 2014
Friends - a very sincere word of appreciation to the players, their families and the coaches who made this Memorial Day weekend baseball experience a special one.
Our Junior, Sandlot and Prep teams competed in Memorial Day Tournaments, and our Senior Legion team opened up it's regular season this weekend. All in all, our teams played 12 games across the region and represented our community extraordinarily well.
Deepest appreciation to our Sandlot team, whose families, under the direction of Sandlot GM, Bob Dawes and Coach Scott Renauro, executed a flawless game plan in welcoming 7 other teams from around the region for 2 days of baseball. Haverford beat Concord in walk-off fashion in a well played Championship game tonight. Bob, to you and the Sandlot families that led our effort in staffing, donating time and treasure, and serving as gracious hosts, many thanks for a job well done. And to the Prep and Juniors families that did more than their fair share to support out Sandlot tournament in donations of time and items, thank you.
Our Prep team got it's first taste of 60'-90' tournament ball in Conestoga's annual tournament. Our kids battled in all 3 games, staying close or battling ties going into the 5th inning of each game. While we didn't earn a victory across the tourney, the boys under Coach Josh Throckmorton, his coaches and GM Kevin Yates, are sure to have a strong season in their first as a team on the big field.
Finally, our Junior Legion team earned the 8th Annual Wayne Junior Legion Tournament Championship
with wins in the semis and finals today. The team went 4-1 and while timely hitting certainly helped the team's wins, it was pitching and defense that were standout this weekend. Great team performance across the entire weekend as every player contributed in ways big and small to bring home the trophy. Our appreciation to Coach Joe Martin and his staff for bringing out the best of the boys in challenging circumstances (including back to back extra inning games yesterday), which culminated in a 3-2 win over Whitemarsh this evening.
It takes the work and commitment of all of us in the NP Legion baseball community to make weekends like this (and the seasons that follow) a success. Again, I say thanks to all of you on behalf of the NSB league and the Legion program for your efforts and your dedication on a weekend when many others you know are at the beach or generally "getting away for the weekend."
I would be remiss, however, if I did not acknowledge what this weekend is all about: a memorial to those in our armed services who sacrificed their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms afforded to us as citizens of the USA. To those lives lost for the cause that we honor, and to the families that they left behind, let us always remember and appreciate the significance of what Memorial Day represents.
Thanks for a great weekend of baseball, but more importantly, Happy Memorial Day.
What's in Store for 2014 Legion Program
We are excited to build on the momentum of last year's season! 2014 is packed with clinics, professional instruction, professional coaching, tournaments, scrimmages, regular season play, post season playoffs and Legion tournaments.
This year we will offer another extensive 1 day clinic for any player 10 through 15 on March 22rd. This clinic will be held by professional coaches and assistants. A $60 registration fee will include 4 hours of high intensity instruction in batting, fielding, pitching and fundamentals. We will also continue to offer free clinics at Swarthmore College and on Sundays throughout the Spring. Private lessions by our professional coaches will be scheduled and available on a first come first serve basis. This year, our Jr. Legion team will look forward to building upon the success it had as a Sandlot team, where it won the American League Division regular season and playoff, and entered the Regional Tournament as the top seed. Our Prep team program will be focused on making the transition from the 60' to the 90' diamond and will play in a Memorial Day tournament. Our Sandlot team is scheduled to host our 5th Annual Memorial Day Tournament. All teams will play upwards of a 20 game season in addition to pre-season scrimmages, playoffs and post season Legion tournaments for success in the playoffs.
It has always been our mission to provide the best value and most competitive baseball in the area. Our committed staff and coaches work year around to be able to offer your son this opportunity. We look forward to another great season of baseball. Come join in the fun. For additional information or questions regarding our program, please contact Peter Atsaves at email@example.com
Coaching Lineup this Season
Our coaching lineup is set, and we could not be more excited!
Heading our Junior Legion team will be Joe Martin, who managed the Sandlot in 2013. Joe played High School Ball at Ridley, and is an alum of the NP Legion program. Joe played his college ball for Gwenyd Mercy College (PA).
Our Sandlot team will be led by Scott Renauro, who is an Assistant Coach at Swarthmore College. Scott was head coach of our Prep team last year, and did a fantastic job developing the players across the year with great results. Scott was a 4 year standout at Eastern University (PA).
Leading our Prep team in 2014 will be Joshua Throckmorton, also an Assistant Swarthmore Coach. Josh spent time with the Prep team in 2013, assisting Coach Renauro across the season. Josh will be charged with developing the rising 13s as they venture onto the big field for the first time. Josh played his college ball at Occidental College (CA).
Rounding out our head coaches, and returning as head coach of our Senior Legion team, is Shane Raines. Shane played his college ball at Western Kentucky and has been an integral part of the teaching and coaching our Legion program has offered for several years.
How does the American Legion Baseball program work
For those of you who are new to the American Legion Baseball Program, here is a snapshot of what we offer as a program and a brief accounting of how our season and the NP Legion program works.
NP legion is offered to all Wallingford - Swarthmore School District age eligible residents, and including Ridley Townhsip, (from the border of NP to Rt. 420 and down to McDade Boulevard) Rutledge, Folsom, and Eddystone.
2014's Legion program will offer the Legion "Prep" Team (primarily 13 year olds, 12 year olds may qualify if they are currently on the 7th grade school roster), a U - 14 Team (Sandlot), and our Main Line Jr. Legion League Team (13-15) and for our 6th year we will also offer a Sr. Legion program for players 16 to 19 years of age. Ideally, the Prep Team and the U-14 Team are key elements and venues to prepare players for the Jr. Legion Team. The Sr. Legion team is designed for players who want to continue to play baseball at a very high level throughout the summer and keep their skills sharp for the upcoming high school or college baseball season.
In January and February we will hold indoor practices and tryouts for all players interested in travel baseball who will still be no older than 15 on April 30th 2013. Senior Legion tryouts will also be held for players that are still 19 or under as of January 1, 2014.
From these tryouts the coaches will evaluate all participants and determine the talent level of each player. As a result of the tryouts and indoor practices, players that make the travel program will be assigned to a pre-season roster on either the Prep team (made up of mostly 13 yr olds), the Jr. Legion pre-season roster (13-15's) and or the U - 14 "sandlot league" Team. Understand that as the pre-season evolves players may be moved from one roster to another based on their skill levels until final rosters are determined. Senior Legion rosters will be set later in the spring as this league does not generally begin practice or games until all school ball has concluded.
Our preseason schedule will include weekly clinics at Swarthmore College with the coaches and players of Swarthmore College. This has proven to be a great tool to our success to sharpen our skills prior to the regular season. We intend to also offer special clinics for players who wish to attend that will be sponsored by our professional coaches.
In March, April and May we will play (on weekends) scrimmages and tournaments as schedules and weather permit. Understanding there are many conflicts with other activities, school ball and social events, the preseason rosters allows us to continue to evaluate our candidates for the Legions regular season rosters. Legion, Prep and the U - 14 "sandlot league" travel team will not conflict with any School baseball schedules as the regular season schedule will not start until just before Memorial Day and go through mid-July and possibly late July and or early August, if a team advances to states in any playoff competition.
As this is the most competitive baseball for this age group, we expect a committment from the players and parents to have their son available throughout the entire season and especially playoffs which could run through July and possibly in early August. (please do not schedule any family vacations until August if you plan to have you son play on the Prep, Jr Legion or Sr. Legion teams)
The scrimmages, practices, clinics, and your performance will decide who actually makes the final roster on any of the the travel teams. Final announcements of team assignments will be made prior to roster deadlines outlined by each program. Regardless of your assignment, players may be dual rostered and schedules will be carefully planned to maximize playing time and minimize conflicts with another team (should your son be dual rostered). NPAA Baseball has capped the number of teams you may play on to two. This may include two travel teams or a travel team and our NPAA Senior league. Generally, all rising 13's (Prep Team players) will also be rostered on the NPAA Senior League. 14s and 15s that are not dual rostered on the Jr. Legion team are encouraged to also play NPAA Senior League in order to maxmize playing time and gain valuable extra "reps" and experience to sharpen their skills.
The cost of Legion or travel baseball is considerably more expensive than our intramural league due to the type of baseballs used, umpire fees, Clinics, Insurance, and uniform requirements. In an effort to keep prices as low as possible, we will hold our annual fundraiser "tag/bat-day" on the saturday before Easter, and all players are expected to participate, while parents are encouraged to participate as well. Each year we also sponsored a U-14 tournament over Memorial Day and hosted a snack bar on multi-game weekend days that generated additional funds. As this is a volunteer organization, all parents are asked to get involved and volunteer for one or more of our fund-raising programs.
Registration will begin just after the new year and all participants will first register for NPAA and those making the travel and or legion progams will be assessed the difference between NPAA senior program and the Legion fee. If you make a travel program roster (and pay the Legion fee), you will not have to pay extra to play NPAA Senior league and or a second travel team. NPAA will have a registration table at our tryouts.
If you have any questions regarding our program, please contact NPAA Legion Coordinator, Peter Atsaves, for details.
Cell: 610.608-7344, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SR. LEGION UPDATE (why should I play Sr. Legion baseball)
FYI: A new rule enacted after the 2012 season will prohibit players in their first year of college to play for their local Legion team if they were not on the roster the preceding year. Most college coaches will want to have their players play summer ball after their season is over in May and Sr. Legion Baseball offers the highest competitive community baseball in the state. Please keep this in mind when you are considering playing or not playing Sr. Legion baseball as a Senior in High School.
Birth Certificate Requirement
The Legion program requires all players to produce "original" Birth Certificates when we submit or official rosters to the League Administrators. Having said that, we will need the official "original" birth certificates no later than May 1 (exact date to be announced). We will only need it until we have our roster meeting. They will be returned on the next practice or game after we submit our rosters or may be picked up if requested.
The following are never acceptable as legal birth records: Baptismal certificate, hospital certificates or records, school certificates or records or xerox copies of birth certificates.
If we do not have your original certificate at our roster meeting, your son will not be able to be placed on the roster or able to play until it is reviewed by the Legion Administrator (who is not local). So please have original ready. Note: the one you got at the hospital when your son was born, is not......not...... the original birth certificate. You must have secured it from the state (if from Pennsylvania).
If you do not have the original you may get one here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121
The Legion if very strict on this policy and you may not play or be included on our official Legion roster without us presenting an original to the league commissioner. Again, we will not keep it, but we must physically present one to our league commissioner when we meet in early May to submit our official roster for the season. For those of you who may not have been born in Pennsylvania, please see contact Peter Atsaves for more information.
Nether Providence Bulldogs