This year has been a whirlwind...The goal for this season was to build up our numbers and strengthen the organization. We conducted an extensive campaign to get the word out that we are "Mount Airy's home for Little League Baseball". Starting with 17,000 post cards delivered to every home in Mount Airy and the surrounding areas, our goal was to get folks to join FCLL. Well...our numbers last season were 287 and our numbers this season was 349. I'd say all the hard work paid off. As the season got underway, we started out with many new upgrades being made to Russell Windsor Field. Our cage was upgraded, we added some new sod around home plate and began construction on a new press area behind home plate. Then opening day arrived...Well, needless to say it was a wash out. The rains came and we could not have our annual celebration. We were able to play a few games that day and the season seamed to be headed in the right direction. Then, that night, someone decided to have some fun and burn down our port-a-pots. If you remember, they did not just burn down the port-a-pots...they destroyed our entire shed and all the contents. Some good things came out of that. The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Century of Mount Airy both donated $10,000 to help us rebuild. The progress was slow going because the season was upon us. The season moved on from there and we were excited to have two Juniors Division teams this season. Last season, Thurmont decided to leave Little League leaving us with no one to play. Our folks got out there and found some other teams to play in Elkton and Arbutus. The Juniors Division was the best it has been in years. As the season progressed, we had two Majors division teams rise to the top. With top flight pitching, these two teams dominated the Majors division. In the end, our Majors Tigers took home the title and headed to the Maryland District 2 Tournament of Champions which was held in Thurmont this season. In our Minors division, the Seadogs crept up and won their tournament despite a great effort from the other teams. This year was the first year we had a "Clinic" division in a number of years. Some younger players got the chance to learn some fundamentals as well as have some great fun every Saturday morning. Our hope is, those players come back next season and enjoy some more Saturday fun. This season we implemented a new technology to our league called GameChanger. GameChanger allows folks at home to "Follow" the games real time just like they were sitting watching the game. We scored about 50% of our games live and our hope is that next season we score 100% live. Wifi has been added to the field in part so that we can accomplish this goal. Out Hit-A-Thon was a huge success. Despite the economy, we raised over $5,000.00 more than last season. Our player, managers and coaches are the best. We can't thank them enough for making it a great Hit-A-Thon. Then along came the end of season Carnival/Picnic/Movie. What a great way to end the regular season. The movie Mickey was a true Little League inspired movie.
|9/10 team dog piles |
after being crown the
For some of you, that was it...for others, we were just getting started. On June 15, the announcement of the All Star teams were made. A selection of five teams was made to represent the league in post season play. Our 9/10 All Stars were up first. They pulled an excellent draw and only had to win two games to make it to the championship round. They did just that and on July 2, 2011 were crowned the 2011 Maryland District 2 Champions and earned a berth in the 2011 Maryland State Little League Tournament. The team went on to win three and lose two in the state tournament giving them an impressive 3rd place finish in all of Maryland. This team was a scrappy little team who continued to fight until the very end. Up until the 6th inning of their last elimination game they did not give up. We are very proud of our 9/10 year old teams run and wish them well in the future.
The 10/11 team was next and despite trailing in their first game came from behind to win. They would go on to lose their next two, but gave it a great fight non the less.
The 11/12 team or Little League All Stars as it is commonly referred to also represented well. They went deeper in the District tournament than any other Little League team in FCLL history. They played great baseball until the end when they were out hit by Frederick National in their final match-up giving them a solid 3rd place finish.
Our Juniors were named the District 2 Champions right away because all the other leagues in our District have left Little League (we hope to change that in the future). They completed in the State Tournament and although did not win, they fought hard the entire time. We look to build on this experience and improve our Juniors program each year.
Our Minors All Stars competed in the 30th Annual Emory Frye Memorial Tournament and won their first two games and then lost two. They ended up in third place over all and we were very proud of their efforts.
As I said before, this season has been a whirlwind. For some, the season started in January (at our indoor facility) and did not end until the third week of July. That is a long time to play baseball. It takes alot to run an successful organization like ours. It can't be done without volunteers. The volunteers in Four County LL are great. This year we have asked our folks to do more than ever before and because of that our league has benefited from it. The season is not just April to June...for some volunteers it is 365 days a year. At this point, planning is already under way for next season. One thing that is on the agenda is fields. We need land to call our own. We are actively looking for land we can expand on. We are grateful for what we have been given at Russell Windsor Field, but we can not continue to grow without looking at the possibility of finding our own land.
We hope you have enjoyed the 2011 season. Our fall baseball season is just around the corner and then we go into the planning for next season. Our annual elections for Board Members is in October and Nomination are in September. If you would like to help shape the league and be a part of the Board of Directors, you need to be nominated in September and be on the Ballot in October.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to wish every family in FCLL a very happy and safe summer. We can't wait to see you for the next season.
For more information about the league and or registering for Fall Baseball, click on our website...www.fcllbaseball.org