Equipment Drive for Adopted Baseball League

Our youngest Scripps Ranch baseball players had the opportunity to learn the game of baseball and help the less fortunate learn baseball, too! In January the Falcons Baseball Organization--14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds--held a baseball Skills Development Clinic for 5-, 6-, and 7-year-olds.

The bigger kids taught the little ones throwing, catching, base-running, hitting, and for some, which hand the glove goes on! The little ones taught the big guys something too--a renewed love of the game! Who wouldn't love America's favorite game when observed through the sparkling eyes of a child. That's when you remember that the fun is in getting dressed up in all the gear and just playing--not winning, contract negotiations, or free agency.

The "price of admission" was the optional donation of used or new baseball gear for our adopted baseball league in Tijuana. More than 70 young ballplayers participated and got a jump on their baseball season.

For the fourth year, the Falcons held this used equipment drive to help the disadvantaged Tijuana community of Lomas de Porvenir keep a baseball program alive for their young ballplayers. In collaboration with Scripps Ranch Little League (SRLL), the Falcons gathered lots of gear--enough for about four teams. Special thanks go to SRLL and Brad Poirie for their generous donation of used Little League equipment, especially the helmets and hard-to-get catcher's gear. Also thanks to SRLL's Teri Denhart and George "Irish" Gallardo for helping out.

You can still make a donation of unwanted baseball gear--cleats, gloves, bats, balls, pants, etc.--to this great cause. Make a small donation of baseball gear and help keep a baseball program alive for young, less fortunate ballplayers. Please contact Greg Haddow at 578-5258 if you want to make a donation, have questions, or want to get involved.

Little League News

Snack Bar

For the first time in Scripps Ranch Little League (SRLL) history, we stand the chance of not having a snack bar. Despite the league growing to over 800 players, we do not have any volunteers to run our snack bar this year.

It's not a small restaurant--it's a snack bar! And it is the most popular place for parents and kids alike to hang out during the baseball season. But if a few adults do not come forward to run it this season, the doors will close.

If would like more information or have questions, please email Teri Denhart at [[email protected]] and include your contact information. Opening Day is Saturday, Feb. 28!

Manager and Coach Selections

Many thanks to those who attended the general community and board meeting last fall. SRLL is required to host a community forum each year where the budget and general business information is available to its membership. This month I would like to share with you how your child's managers, coaches, and teams are selected.

In the hierarchy of a league, managers are in charge of the team and coaches are the assistants. Adults who wish to manage or coach a team are required to complete an official Little League volunteer form and attach a copy of a photo ID. Each person is run through the Megan's Law database at the sheriff's department.

Once they have cleared, the applicants are sorted by the division in which they would like to participate. A selection committee then reviews each candidate with regard to several factors. If the person has participated in SRLL before, we have a wealth of information to consider, such as the coaching experience, baseball knowledge, and do they share a Little League philosophy.

We obtain this information from prior division representatives, references, and the evaluations submitted by parents and players from previous years. The candidate will only be considered for the division that their child's abilities are best suited based on the prior year's ratings.

The next step is to pair a manager and coach who will complement each other in baseball knowledge and personality strengths. Candidates may request to coach with another person, however, if the selection committee believes the league would be better suited otherwise, this will be explained to the candidates.

We are fortunate in Scripps Ranch to have more applicants each year than required--and that is for approximately 70 teams. This allows us to minimize the number of people selected to coach two teams, thus your child's coaches can focus on your child's team.

Once approved by the board of directors, the managers, coaches, and those not selected are contacted by the division representative. Those candidates who are not "officially" assigned a team are presented at draft as an additional coach should the manager desire a larger coaching staff.

Team Selections

T-ball and Coach Assisted Pitching (CAP) divisions do not have any type of player assessment process. Players are simply placed on teams, doing our best to accommodate requests indicated on registration forms. We also try to balance teams by both age distribution--half 5-year-olds and half 6-year-olds--in T-ball and do our best to put them on teams with children in their neighborhood or with their classmates. After all, playing with their friends is what it's all about!

From Machine Assisted Pitching (MAP) to Majors, however, players are required to participate in an assessment. Managers then combine the information they observe from this with information from the previous year--"ratings"--to form equal teams in each division.

The president and player agent are responsible for the draft. One division per night, beginning with the Majors, the managers get together and take turns selecting players onto their teams.

Because we are in fact two leagues, Scripps Ranch American and Scripps Ranch National, we draft American and National alternately to allow for equality between leagues. This parity is not only important during the early part of the season when interleague play occurs, but to the exhibition "World Series" in each division. It's also important to the AAA and Majors who play in the post-season tournaments, as the two leagues play against each other.

I hope this information is helpful in understanding the work that goes behind assuring your child has a qualified manager and coach, as well as the process for building fair teams. If you have any questions, visit our website at [].

Don't forget that Saturday, Feb. 28, is Opening Day at Jerabek Park.

Teri Denhart, Little League President

Get Ready For Opening Day!

The Scripps Ranch Softball Association (SRSA) was pleased with the awesome turnout for the player evaluations and the beautiful weather! We hope the same for Opening Day ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 28!

The league is committed to provide the best instructional and skill building clinics for players of all levels. Mary Jo Griswold offers her Advanced Skills Building clinics with invaluable information. We are pleased with the success of Speed Camp by Fitness Quest.

Our relationship with Alyssa Cunningham and her pitching staff has been present since the inception of the league. We continue to be supporters of SRHS girls' sports by sponsoring fundraising clinics. The coaches also have excellent clinics provided by Dave Williams of Point Loma Nazarene University.

Our catchers are under the direction of Deb Hartwig of Just Softball. All of these extra clinics complement our recreational season by providing our girls the best that softball can offer. The 2004 Girls Softball season is under way!

Angela Miller, SRSA

Scripps Ranch Soccer Club

The Competitive Soccer tryouts will take place this month. Anyone interested in trying out for a competitive team should visit our website at [] for tryout schedules and more information.

At last--next season soccer registration will be available online! Information for online applications will be on our website this spring. In addition, you will be able to set up a confidential family/member profile including information such as address, telephone numbers, and more. You will be able to access and modify your profile at any time.

In January our club hosted its annual dinner at the Karl Strauss Brewery in Sorrento Valley to honor and thank our sponsors, recreational and competitive coaches, and competitive managers. It was a great evening. At that time our club also held its annual meeting and board elections. Please refer to our website for the 2004 elected members.

For further information regarding the Scripps Ranch Soccer Club (SRSC), please refer to our website at [] or call the hotline at 974-5393.

Joe Barr, SRSC President

"The Fire Hawks" Play Well!

Boys Div. 5 Red Soccer All-Star Team, "The Fire Hawks," did awesome in the Mesa All-Star Soccer Tournament. We were undefeated until the semifinals, when we lost with a score of 0 to 1. But we played an outstanding game.

Congratulations to Trevor Alexander, Jordan Cobb, Jason Duran, Brandon Dyte, Ross Fledderjohn, Robbie Lewis, Brad Littoy, Brett Loftus, Torben Pielke, Nicholas Prunty, Dominic Thomas, and Coaches Stacy Lewis and Niven Pielke. We celebrated at the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club with pizza from Pazzo's Restaurant.