Last updated: May 01. 2014 6:29PM - 1319 Views
Kris Little Special to the Post

Submitted photo | Jefferson PostA group of players and coaches pose for a picture after the recent skills clinic at Family Central.
Submitted photo | Jefferson PostA group of players and coaches pose for a picture after the recent skills clinic at Family Central.
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To kick off the 2014 Ashe County Tar Heel Baseball and Softball season, the Ashe County Youth Baseball/Softball Board held its inaugural Coaches/Youth Baseball Skills Clinic.

The clinic was held on Saturday, April 26 at the Ashe County Parks and Recreation Fields at Family Central. This particular clinic was focused on boy’s baseball ages 8-12 and all current youth baseball coaches from T-Ball through Major League were invited.

The clinic was organized and ran by several of the board members and coaches. The clinic consisted of three sessions from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with detailed instruction given on hitting, fielding and position specific instruction for pitchers and catchers. The youth and coaches alike were provided with a blueprint of the fundamentals of playing baseball.

Detailed instruction was provided by several former Ashe County players and coaches that brought a knowledge base from Major League Baseball, Semi-Professional (wooden bat league), and NCAA Division 1 College experience.

“The goal of our clinic is to help players and coaches alike by giving them a basic and standardized way to correctly play and coach the game” said Ben Cheek, Ashe County Youth Baseball/Softball board member and former NCAA Division 1 player.

“Ashe County has plenty of talent to compete with any of the other youth throughout our state. It is our job as coaches and volunteers to nurture and develop the talent we have” said Andy Cheek, former Appalachian State, Boston Red Sox Organization player and instructor.

The board was very pleased with the turnout of the clinic as almost 50 youth players attended. The board would also like to thank Matt Peters, Dustin Absher, Jim Jenkins, Patrick Ritchie, Cole Ritchie and Bradley Ritchie along with all of the other coaches for their efforts and help with the clinic.

For some of the public that doesn’t already know, the 2014 youth baseball/softball season should have a different feel than in years past.

This year the board has chosen to align its regular season and postseason play with the Tar Heel organization, going away from Little League International. The Tar Heel brand allows much more flexibility in the way that the board can locally manage the regular season, and its rule structure should allow the board to much better serve the individual needs of our county’s youth.

The 13 member board is headed by Executive Director Scott Turnmyre and President Brad Little, and contains a mix of Parks and Recreation staff, coaches and volunteers representing each region of the County. It is the goal of the board to engender, foster and promote the youth baseball and softball program in Ashe County, and to assist and support the administration and staff of Ashe County Parks and Recreation to conduct the youth baseball/softball program.

President Brad Little would like to thank the staff of the Ashe County Parks and Recreation for their support and efforts, and for supplying some of the nicest facilities in the state.

For the first time since the baseball/softball complex opened the board is going to be able to offer sponsorship opportunities for local businesses on the fences of the fields, with 100-percent of the proceeds going back into the program.

3-feet-by-4-feet full color signs are available at the sponsorship cost of $125/field or a package for all three main fields can be purchased for $300. Sponsorship includes the cost of the signs.

Please contact Brad Little at 336-977-3992 or Kris Little at 336-877-6501 for details.

The board has more clinics, tournaments, and events coming throughout the season and Ashe County will be hosting the 2014 District Tar Heel League Tournament at the Family Central facility.

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