Registration open for PAA spring 2014 baseball and softball

Registration for Pennsbury Athletic Association’s (PAA) spring 2014 baseball and softball season is open online at www.paaball.com. PAA serves Lower Makefield Township, Yardley Borough, Morrisville Borough and the portions of Falls Township west and north of Route 1 and is sanctioned by Babe Ruth League and Cal Ripken Baseball. 

Baseball is offered for players from five through 23 years of age and softball is offered for players from five through 18 years of age.  Practices and games take place at Lower Makefield Township and Pennsbury School District fields.

PAA is providing expanded opportunities for young baseball players to play t-ball by reducing the registration fee by $25 and lowering the age requirement so that t-ball players can be five years of age by July 31st, 2014 to play.

The league is also transitioning to a Major-Minor format for 10-, 11- and 12-year-old baseball players this spring. The transition is designed to advance player development and balance competitive play. Major League teams will play on fields with 50′ pitching distance and 70′ base paths and Minor League teams will play on fields with 46′ pitching distance and 60′ base paths.

This spring PAA is adding a new baseball program for children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Boys and girls ages 6-16 are invited to join Team Pennsbury Magik to play baseball in a unique and non-competitive environment. 

Pennsbury Magik players will be paired with a qualified volunteer who will play right alongside each child. Each Saturday during the spring season players will meet and work with a buddy at skills stations such as throwing, catching, hitting and running the bases. The players will then be divided into teams to “play ball” for an inning or two. Each week as the children progress, so will the program.

During the 2013 spring and fall seasons more than 1,200 young athletes participated in PAA’s in-house and travel baseball and softball programs. 

All PAA coaches and managers must pass comprehensive, mandatory background screenings. To register for PAA baseball and softball and for additional information on PAA’s various programs visit www.paaball.com.

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9U Wildcats excel in Fall Ball League

 

The Neshaminy Wildcats 9U Boys Travel team capped off an amazing fall season with a dominating performance in the championship game in the Levittown Continental Fall Ball League.

The boys posted a record of 8-2 in the regular season and marched through the playoffs and won the championship game, 10-0.  This was the inaugural season of the A Division at Levittown Continental, which invited travel teams to participate.  

The Neshaminy boys, coming off a successful tournament season, entered into the league and were challenged by their coaching staff to play focused, disciplined, and fast-paced baseball. The boys responded with hard work and dedicated themselves to improving. All players were consistently ready for anything that the opposing teams threw at them and were playing their positions and taking their backup responsibilities to heart.

During the championship game the Neshaminy pitchers were dominant, recording nine strikeouts in five innings of work. The defense really stepped up and delivered as well. Disciplined plate appearances, fantastic bunting, timely hitting, and aggressive base-running then propelled the boys to victory. 

PHOTO CAP: Pictured front row from left, Michael Sooby, Joey Hornung, Michael Morrow, Scotty Junker, Danny McColgan, and Nathan Urban; middle row, Myles Calderbank, Brendan Raven, Zachary Hollenbach, Connor Woodson, and Evan Hughes; back row, Coach Junker, Coach Urban, Coach Sooby, and Coach McColgan.

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Neshaminy Wildcats Host Summer Classic

by Matt Snider

On July 26th the Neshaminy Wildcats hosted their latest annual baseball summer classic. Sponsored by Tag ‘Em Tournaments, the event spanned three towns, eight fields, included 89 teams and showcased why the Neshaminy Wildcats Summer Classic is quickly growing to become the end-of- summer baseball tournament to attend.

“This is one of those things that really don’t happen without the support from the volunteers and the community,” said Dan Urban, head coach of the Neshaminy Wildcats 8U team and Vice President of Baseball for the Neshaminy Wildcats Athletic Association. “Not to mention the great partners we have co-hosting the event in Langhorne and Middletown who helped to make it the success it was.”

It was the tournament’s success that led the Langhorne Athletic Association and the Middletown Athletic Association to desire to co-host the event. With a projected rise in tournament attendance, Urban sought out other neighboring organizations to help provide fields and field maintenance to accommodate the growth in attendance.

“I knew Dan just through playing against him and he ended up approaching us, and then sat down over three or four meetings with our people,” said Peter Brody, head coach of the Langhorne Lumber Jacks whose team and organization helped manage the tournament. “I thought it was really selfless of him to ask because he was handing us a huge fundraising opportunity for our team.”

In addition to reaching out to other organizations, the Wildcats renewed their partnership with their tournament’s sponsor from the previous year, Tag ‘Em Tournaments. In addition to providing umpires, baseballs, and other game day necessities, Tag ‘Em maintained the tournament website, managed all the scheduling and handled any disputes that arose during the tournament.

 “What we try to do is give our partners great fundraising opportunities while we take care of the organizing and managing,” said Paul Deceglie, President of Tag ‘Em Tournaments. “And we say they are our partners because we really couldn’t do it without them.”

It was this joint effort across the board that led the Summer Classic to be the success it was. Not just for the baseball organizations, but also the towns as a whole.

“I knew some people were coming from out of town and staying in hotels,” said Urban when asked about how the tournament affected the town. “Then they go and spend money for the local businesses which really helps out the community.”

In addition to the community, the most important benefactors of the tournament are the kids themselves. With the money raised, not only can parents continue to afford the league fees for their kids to play, but also coaches and teams can help purchase necessities like equipment and uniforms.

“I tried to present the opportunity to the parents as a choice,” said Brody. “Would you rather write a check for a few hundred dollars or volunteer your time for a weekend. The answer is easy, especially when it’s for a good cause.”

While the help Neshaminy received for this tournament was astounding, they might require even more next year. Tag ‘Em Tournaments reports that on average, tournament growth is around 40% annually.

“We’re already planning on having the event again next year,” said Urban. “We are leaning towards that last week in July to make a nice way to end summer baseball.”

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Doylestown 9U Tigers win Southeast State Championship

 

On July 23th the Doylestown Athletic Association (DAA) Tigers 9U baseball team won the Southeastern Pennsylvania State Championship title against Nether Swarthmore, 2-0.

The game was played at the Brandywine Youth Club in Glen Mills, PA. The 9U Tigers are only the second team in DAA history to win a State title. In six games they outscored their opponents 52-13 and shut out both teams in the semi-final and championship games.

Pictured in front from left are Alex Creighton, Jonathan Cawley, Cole Fehrman, Brett Young, EJ Wentz and Alec Kennedy; middle row, Sajan Shah, Braden Murphy, Jack Hamilton, Andrew Whinney, Gavin Morgan, and Connor Boyle; back row, Coaches Kevin Murphy and Ed Wentz. Congratulations guys!

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LAA 11-year-old Ripken District 3 Champs

 

The Langhorne Athletic Association 11-year-old Baseball Team became Cal Ripken District 3 Champs on June 29th by defeating Pennsbury at Armstrong Park in Bensalem.

Pictured in the front row from left, Matt Genco (#22), TJ McLaughlin (#9), Kyle Saglimben (#8), Tim Lehman (#20), Garrison Toto (#4), Ian Byrne (#11), Mark Roedel (#7), and Brandon Redard (#12); middle row, Jared Minnichbach (#10), Andrew Mays (#14), and Mason Demi (#25); back row, Manager Ken Lehman, Coach Jeff Minnichbach, Coach Brian Saglimben, and Coach Glenn Roedel.

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LAA 9U Cal Ripken District 3 Champions

 

The Langhorne Athletic Association 9U Baseball Team beat Levittown American June 29th at Russell Elliot Field in Lower Southampton to become Cal Ripken District 3 Champs.

Players (front row from left) are AJ Oakes, Josh Haus, Mason Toto, Ryan Burgess, Mike LaScala, Zack Bowman, Lou Salmi, Ayden Demi, Andrew Jones and Ryan DiGrosso. Players not pictured are Luke Byrne and Patrick Courtney. Coaches (back row) pictured are Jared Haus, Jay Bowman and Tom Jones. Coach not pictured is Mark Salmi.

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More than a team

 

by Matt Snider

This past March, the Langhorne Athletic Association’s Diamond Dogs began their second game of the season with a pregame parade for Melissa Schweiker. It was a total surprise to her as one by one, all the members of the 10-and-under baseball team strolled onto the field wearing their newest uniform additions.

Melissa’s son, Jake Schweiker, was the last in line carrying flowers and a card. As he reached her, he said, “Mom, do you like my socks?”

Jake’s socks, as well as the other team members’, were pink in support of Melissa’s recent battle with cancer.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” said Melissa. “It was also extremely touching.”

This show of support was just one of the many acts of kindness the families of the Diamond Dogs have displayed in the preceding months, as they did everything they could to be there for the Schweiker family despite only knowing them for a short time. “I’ve only known some of these people for about two years now,” said Melissa. “The one thing that brought us together was a sport…baseball.”

Although baseball had brought them together, the families of the players went above and beyond in a time of need. “They were delivering meals, as well as cards, taking her son to baseball practices, just a ton of things,” said Marie Cipullo, Melissa’s mother. “They have gone beyond friendship and have truly been phenomenal.”

Melissa’s journey began in February when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I didn’t want to tell everyone right away. I wanted to at least wait until I spoke with the surgeon and knew what was going to happen.”

[Read more...]

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Pennsbury Athletic Association getting ready for spring

The Pennsbury Athletic Association (PAA) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization serving families throughout Lower Makefield Township, Yardley Borough, and parts of Morrisville Borough and Falls Township west and north of Route 1.

PAA offers in-house, travel and tournament baseball and softball in the spring and fall for boys and girls ages five – 18. PAA’s goal is to provide a rewarding experience for our young baseball and softball players and their families both on and off the field. 

Formed in 1966, PAA is a chartered Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken organization.

Most of PAA’s baseball and softball games are played at Macclesfield Park, Stoddard Fields and the Fred Allan Softball Complex in Lower Makefield Township with additional games and practices held on Pennsbury School District fields predominantly in Lower Makefield.

In 2012 more than 1,600 players participated in PAA’s programs.

In addition to robust participation, PAA made a number of improvements last year including the introduction of a fall in-house softball program, improvements at Stoddard Fields in conjunction with Lower Makefield Parks and Recreation, the launch of a new website (www.paaball.com) and online registration system and improved communication between the league and families.

Player safety is a priority at PAA as demonstrated by the mandatory comprehensive background check required of all coaches, the new lightning safety policy and design changes to dugouts and on-deck areas at Stoddard Fields.

Recently the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the site plans for two additional fields to be constructed behind the current Stoddard Fields complex.

The fields, which should be ready for use in the fall of 2014, are being funded in large part by a Pennsylvania State grant secured by State Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-31st).

In 2012 PAA and its member families donated used baseball and softball equipment to underfunded programs in Trenton, NJ and Camden, NJ; raised money for the Philadelphia Friends the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and awarded $1,000 scholarships to two college-bound high school seniors who had participated in PAA programs.

Registration is currently open for PAA’s spring 2013 baseball and softball programs and free players clinics and youth umpiring classes are currently underway.

For more information on Pennsbury Athletic Association visit www.paaball.com or visit the official PAA Facebook page.

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