League Commisioners Blog

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Update April 28, 2016

Jeffers Park has a new addition.  The Trojan Horse sculpture was the winner of the 2015 Sculpture Tour People’s Choice Award and was donated to the City.  The City Council decided to locate the piece at new Jeffers Park and it was recently relocated to its new home.  While there is no direct link to baseball or softball it’s a nice new addition for the community park.  One idea for a possible tie in to our league is that our travel teams have long been called the Fury but without any mascot or image.  Maybe at least in our league we give the horse a new nickname of “Fury” and players can give it a good luck pat on the shoulder before games as we walk in.  Whatever new tradition develops, at least we won’t have to feed or pick up after this horse – although the photo gives a different impression with some dirt piles left by the installers, or maybe “Fury”?
 
Other developments at Jeffers Park upcoming is the planned installation of a new playground.  The installation date has been tentatively set for the afternoon of Friday June 3 (last day of school for ECASD) and Saturday June 4.  Please reserve those dates if possible to assist with this aspect of the new park development project.
 
We remain in immediate need of financial donations to the park project and in-kind donations if you are able to supply or help install dugout roofing, dugout benches, bleachers, or construct shelving in our new storage room in the pavilion please contact me or Lane Gibbons.  Coaches, a lock box will be installed and programed on the pavilion with a key to the storage room for access to bases and field equipment prior to games being played at the park, which we expect this May.  A restroom key will also be in the lock box once our league gets a key to the restrooms.  Restrooms are complete and easily the best and most plentiful (Jodi made sure that the women’s room can handle half a team at a time) of any field complex we’ll play at this year, funded and constructed through our community and league fundraising efforts, but they are locked until the park is opened for use.
 
Keep playing catch, working on fielding “through it, not to it”, and having fun with teammates and daughters.  See you at the ballfield!
 
Steve Nick

 




Update April 18, 2016

Hope you are enjoying this great weekend and that it involved at least some time for playing catch or practicing some softball. If not more of this great opportunity to come as the softball season is now here!

Other than the older leagues, your daughter should now know her team and be practicing with it either at our indoor facility or as the weather and fields improve outdoors. We cannot practice at new Jeffers Park but I was there this weekend dropping off supplies and the fields look great!  Be prepared for dirt, or mud when wet, between the pavilion and the fields. It's in its first year but it will be a wonderful new home for Eau Claire boys and girls to play ball.

We are grateful for the Nationals prior concessions experience as they are busy setting up the new concessions stand with the experience of years doing so at Delong. Jen and Rebecca will need our help and support please look for the SignUp Genius when it is released and if concessions is an interest please let us know as we need a co-chair to learn the operation this year so we can team up with the Nationals in running the stand next year. It will become not only a means to pay for league operations, but often dinner so we want it to be well run.

We still need more capital funding for Jeffers Park. As you begin to come to games you will notice it remains a work in progress. Progress has slowed recently because of lack of funding for bleaches, dugout roofs, scoreboards among other items. Please review the donations options and if you have not yet donated please consider doing so now.

A playground will be installed later this spring at Jeffers Park with equipment purchased by a grant from Bremer Bank. Information on when the installation will occur and time to volunteer for the community build will be forthcoming.

Our annual Eau Claire Classic tournament planning is going well. We expect 100 teams to compete in this 50th anniversary year including our Fury teams. Remember to reserve June 24-26 for this exciting and financially important tournament.

That's a long enough email. Thanks to you all for helping your daughter have fun, learn softball, and how to compete and be a good sport with her team. If you have any questions or concerns about the league please contact me and of course have fun playing and watching your daughter play ball this year.

Steve Nick




Update Feb 6 2015

Welcome Eau Claire Fastpitch families to the 2015 softball season!  It should be an exciting season with great opportunities for our daughters to develop softball skills, enjoy a team sport and the friendships that come with it, and to play ball.  I and our other coaches and board of directors look forward to working with you and your daughters to make this another fun and successful season.

We hope to be playing ball on new fields at a new Jeffers Park by later in the season.  There has been great progress on the park being constructed in conjunction with Eau Claire Nationals Little League and the City of Eau Claire thanks to many generous donors and volunteers.  Watch our website for updates on park development and know you are invited and your financial and volunteer help is and will continue to be needed to finish construction and operate the new fields and concession facility.

We have a new indoor practice facility.  Our league was able to offer an indoor practice facility for the first time last year.  That was a major advancement in our league’s resources and a huge benefit to our players in their skill development.  Our board made the decision to retain the recourse of an indoor facility but to relocate our facility to a new larger location on the west side that offers more room, greater ceiling height, and is closer to our new home fields at Jeffers Park.  An earlier League email established preliminary practice times at the facility.  I expect those times will be refined and times for team specific practices will be set after try outs and team formation in February.

There is an upcoming board meeting on Sunday February 8 at 6:30 p.m.  This will be held at our new indoor practice facility.  We had a good turn-out for our last meeting, but we need greater involvement to continue League operations.  We are entirely a volunteer organization and need your involvement to provide opportunities to play softball to your daughter and other girls.  Please consider attending this meeting or other ways you can help in the coming year.  You will be asked to volunteer in some capacity at try-outs as we have to ask for broad volunteer involvement to coach, team-parent, run a large and very successful tournament, and later this year operate a concession facility at new Jeffers Park.  These are great player and league opportunities, but they only happen with all our involvement.

Again, I look forward to sharing time playing ball with your daughters and with you during a great 2015 season.  Thank you.

Stephen Nick, President Eau Claire Fastpitch

 


Update June 22, 2014

Team parents,

 

Our annual Eau Claire Fastpitch Tournament is this next weekend Friday through Sunday.  The League relies on this annual tournament to fund both league Fastpitch and travel Fury teams.  We also are known for hosting a great tournament with quality fields, well organized games, and great concessions.  We draw teams from all over the Midwest for our tournament and because of that size we need everyone's help to make it a success again this year.

 

Please go to our website to sign up for a shift or another shift.  We are especially in need of concessions help with Sunday a particular need.  Concessions at University Fields is where I got my first "taste" of the tournament when my daughter joined the league three years ago.  Its actually a lot of fun as its fast paced and you meet a lot of new parents and can watch some exciting softball games before and after volunteering.

 

We have had a great league Fastpitch regular season and are ready for success in the playoffs this week so our coaches are excited, but busy.  Fury coach parents will be coaching this weekend.  We need everyone else to help with concession sales.  Please sign up or sign up again. 

 

See you at the ball fields

 

Steve Nick


Eau Claire Fastpitch – President’s Update January 13, 2014

Open House this Sunday January 19th, Noon – 3 p.m.  Are you ready for some softball?  The long stretch of extreme cold finally broke this weekend but the fields are still snow covered and will be for some time.  Eau Claire Fastpitch players are beginning practices indoors.  Check out our website at www.eauclairefastpitch.com  or contact your Fury head coach for practice times and opportunities at our new indoor facility.  We have two batting cages with field turf down so bring your cleats.  One cage is presently set up with a Jugs pitching machine and the other with a pitching rubber, it also works well for batting tee and soft toss drills.  Basic fielding glove work drills or just warming up the throwing arm is also an option.  Nice to have grass, even the artificial kind, under foot this time of year.  This is a huge opportunity for skill development for our players.   Many thanks go out to Lane Gibbons and his team for the development of this great facility.  Lane and the rest of the League Board will host an open house this Sunday, more details to follow.

Team Registration Begins.  League and Fury travel team registration is available through our website now or look for fliers to beginning coming home from school later this month.  Try out dates are March 2 for league play and March 9 for travel Fury teams.

New Softball Fields at Jeffers Park .  Planning continues with the Eau Claire Nationals Little League on development of a 5 diamond field complex at future Jeffers Road Park, just north of the North Crossing on Jeffers Road.  The plan approved by the City Council and both leagues is to fund raise for construction of 5 fields at this new park.  We will need your help with this project which will provide girls for generations the opportunity to play softball in Eau Claire on top quality fields.  We are now limited in local field options and play home games outside the City.   We are fortunate to have a positive arrangement with UWEC and Blugold Softball.  We would continue those close ties and use of Bollinger Fields, but the new fields would allow us to play home games in Eau Claire, expand athletic and youth development opportunities for girls, and add another set of fields for our annual tournament that provides funding to sustain the league.  Please contact us if interested in helping on this project.

Volunteers Welcome.  We have a strong core group of volunteers working hard this off season to keep Eau Claire Fastpitch at the top of its game.  It takes many volunteers to provide a safe, fun, and successful softball league and youth development opportunity for our daughters.  I invite you to join us in some new role this coming season. Contact me, talk to your daughter’s age level Fury coach (even if not playing Fury ball, the Fury coach at your daughter’s age level is a great resource for League news and information), send us an email through our website and share some of your time and talents.