For the first time ever, the Fredonia 11-12 year old baseball all-star team will be taking part in the New York State tournament in Long Island.
To help offset some of the expenses, manager Phil Schrader, along with Ed Schrantz and members of the team, will conduct a baseball clinic Friday at the Fredonia Little League Complex on Clinton Street.
The event will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. and is open to boys and girls ages 5-9. This clinic will focus on the basic fundamentals of baseball, including fielding, throwing, hitting and base-running. Donations for the clinic will be accepted with $15 suggested.
The Fredonia 11-12 year old All-Star team will be holding a youth baseball clinic Friday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Fredonia Little League Complex on Clinton Street. The clinic is open to boys and girls ages 5-9. The event is to help raise funds for the team's trip to the State Tournament in Long Island. Donations are greatly appreciated ($15 suggested). For more information, contact Phil Schrader at 830-7360.
"The whole purpose is two-fold," Schrader explained. "We will use it as a fundraiser to get money for the team's travel expenses. And I figure to do something baseball related will help kids in the Little League system."
The team will also be on the Dunkirk Pier today at 6 p.m. to collect donations.
"We know we are on rival ground, but we figure our team is representing all of Western New York," coach Kevin Voss said of collecting donations at the Pier. "From Rochester this way - that's our section. We are one of six teams left in the state for 11-12 year olds."
With Fredonia winning the Section on Monday, the baseball clinic was a spur of the moment idea on Schrader's part.
"It just hit me when I was brainstorming what I can contribute to help the team out," he said. "It's been a collective effort. It's just a way we can contribute and raise money for travel expenses. It's a good opportunity for the older kids to give back to the younger players in this league and share their skills."
The team leaves for Long Island on Monday and opening ceremonies will take place Tuesday.
"It's been crazy," said Voss, trying to describe the last 72 hours. "The kids are jacked up for it. I have a feeling there will be a few sleepless nights. It has been non-stop since Monday night."
Fredonia's trip to Long Island was in serious jeopardy Monday as it trailed 5-0 before rallying for the 6-5 win in the championship game.
"I knew it would be a tough game," Voss said. "This team is baseball smart. They know what I want. They put it out there for me. When they get between those lines, they are playing ball."
"I think as the days have progressed, everything has fallen into place," said Schrader, describing the team's success. "The kids have come a long way in a short time. From playing on different teams to them coming together, they have come a long ways. With coaches Kevin Voss and Bruce Tarnowski, we have the right combo of players and coaches to make something special happen."
The team leaves for Long Island on Monday and is five wins away from a state title in the double-elimination tournament.
"I hope we hold our own," Voss said. "I'm really proud of these guys. The coaching staff has done a great job. We have a job to do and I think we will do it well."