Welcome to 2018 Rocket Baseball
Greetings RAAA Baseball Parents,
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and staying warm! Over the past couple of months, the RAAA Baseball Board has been busy getting ready for our upcoming season and looking forward to another great year. We are fortunate to have all our board members returning.
I know many of you are participating in winter sports, however baseball season is just around the corner. With that said, I would like to begin communicating some of the key dates and events happening in the coming months. You will be able to find all this information and more at https://rockfordball.com/baseball/. Please check back regularly as dates are subject to change but I will continue to communicate via email as well.
Please review the information below and don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
NEW FOR 2018
Program Overview Page – Provides more detailed information about levels of play, fields, equipment/uniforms, player/parent expectations, evaluations and volunteering. Information we’ll be covering during our Parent Meeting.
Coaches Corner Page – Because coaches are our most valuable resource, this page is designed to provide our coaches with detailed information about baseball fundamentals and expectations at each level, in addition to sample practice plans and other coaching resources. The information provided on this page supports what is being taught at the High School Level.
Machine Pitch League – This year, we are joining Hanover and Corcoran in their machine pitch league. This will be for all our 8 yr olds (2nd graders) and potentially some of our 9 yr olds. See our program overview page for more details.
Legion and Jr Legion Teams – RAAA will no longer be offering 15/16 yr old Summer Baseball as players at these ages will now participate in the new Legion and Jr Legion teams. More information below from Varsity Baseball Coach Tyler Maher.
Registration for ages 8 (Current 2nd graders) thru 14 (Current 8th Graders) will begin mid-February and end mid-March, with the younger boys following after. We have seen great participation numbers over the past several years and expecting that to continue. In addition, for ages 8-14, players interested in pitching will have an opportunity to attend our Tom Traen Pitching Clinic. Stay tuned for additional communications as these dates arrive.
Ages 8-14 (Baseball)
- Opens Monday, February 12
- Closes Friday, March 16
Ages 5-7 (T-ball/Rookie Ball)
- Opens Monday March 1
- Closes Friday March 30
Pitching Clinic on Saturday, April 14 (ages 8-14):
- Opens Monday, March 19
- Closes Friday, April 6
- Limited spots available
We have 4 open gyms scheduled located in the Community Center courts as well as the batting cages in the wrestling room on the following dates: March 20 & 22, April 3 & 5.
We will break the time up based on age group:
- 9 and 10 yr olds (Current 3rd and 4th graders) will go from 6:00 to 7:30
- 11 thru 14 (Current 5th grader thru 8th graders) will go from 7:30 to 9:00
In addition to these open gyms, we also encourage the boys to find other ways to get ready for the baseball season. One option that is popular is visiting The Shed which is located in Buffalo right off of Hwy 55. You can reserve time online and get a head start by working on hitting, fielding and throwing.
We will be holding a parent meeting again this year on Tuesday, April 3 from 6:15 to 7:15 pm in the RCC Conference rooms. We strongly encourage parents with 4th graders or younger to attend or first time parents in the program, however, anyone is welcome. During this meeting will discuss a variety of items including levels of play, schedules, equipment needs, etc., and be available to answer any questions.
Evaluations will be held on Sunday, April 8, again in the Community Center courts and wrestling room. These evaluations are used for team assignments and are conducted by independent evaluators comprised of coaches from the high school program, among others. Tentatively, we are looking at the following schedule breakdown but will confirm our timing as we get closer to this date.
- 3rd and 4th graders will start their evaluations at 10:30 am
- 5th and 6th graders will start their evaluations at 1:00 pm
- 7th graders and older will start their evaluations at 3:00 pm
Team assignments are expected to be sent out by Wednesday April 11, if not before.
Practices will begin the week that Team Assignments are communicated. Games for teams with 6th grade or younger will start sometime in first few weeks of May. 7th graders and older will start closer to the end of the school year once school baseball concludes. We will have links to our practice/games schedules online.
LEGION AND JR. LEGION BASEBALL: MESSAGE FROM TYLER MAHER
As a coaching staff, we view our summer program as an extension of our high school program. Our goal is to challenge our players, while advancing their skill level so they’re ready for the school season. Therefore, our 9th thru 12th grade players will be evaluated throughout the season by the coaching staff, and placed on one of two teams we have in the summer, either the Legion or Jr. Legion team.
Some players will be double rostered depending on pitching, numbers, and what we would like the player to work on. (Ex: A varsity pitcher during the school season will not pitch on JR. Legion, but may have to hone skills defensively or at the plate). This set up provides our athletes opportunities to play against solid competition, while growing as a baseball player.
As we are trying to build for the next year, graduating seniors will not be a part of the summer program. With pitching restrictions handed down by the state, some seniors may be asked to play when needed, but their role on Legion will be different, as we want to get our players still in the program the games they need. We encourage these players to seek out opportunities to continue playing, as many town baseball teams need players around the area.
As I mentioned before, our summer teams are an extension of school baseball. This means the contract all players are required to sign for the school season, will be in effect for the summer league as well. Playing time will NOT be the same as RAAA baseball. This is a high school program, and our high school rules and philosophy will apply. Our Coaches for Jr. Legion will Be Paul Reynolds and Jeremy Broking. Our Legion coach is Varsity Coach Tom Traen.
Registration for these teams will be communicated in a separate email to impacted parents/players at a later time.
Please reach out to me, Tyler Maher (email@example.com), with any questions/concerns.
As with past years, we are asking each family to commit a minimum of one volunteer event throughout the baseball season. Though we will have a variety of opportunities, we can’t stress enough the important of volunteering to coach, especially the younger players as there tends to be more teams. We can't stress enough how important your volunteer time is to our program, it is one of the key activities that directly impacts the success of our program and we appreciate all your help and support.
Stay tuned for additional communications regarding future volunteer opportunities.
RAAA Baseball Board
- Director - John Blanchard
- Associate Director - Steve Yakesh
- Equipment/Uniform Coordinator - Ed Dossantos
- Bankwest Field Coordinator - Dan Sanderson
- 10U Coordinator - Peter Moran
- 8U and Minor League Coordinator - Nick Schuster
Thank you for signing your child up to play and look forward to a great baseball season