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Belmont Bandits 11U baseball team

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First and Lasts

Jan. 9, 2019

Rookie team to take a swing at playing on the weekends.

The Belmont Bandits are a new team that will try their hand at Nations Baseball for a few tournaments this spring. The team is made up entirely of Belmont Optimist/Little League players that are committed to getting better at baseball by hitting the diamond on the weekends. The first tournament the Bandits will play in is scheduled for this Saturday (May 2-3). The team will be thrown into the fire after having only three full practices prior to the first weekend of play. We'll try to hit 'em where they ain't- and see what happens.

Likely end of season finale

The story of our four tournament season is 0-4, 1-3, 2-2 and then finally this final tournament was 3-1. The improvement is obvious.

The boys on our team worked hard, got better at fighting back and reacting positively to adversity. Baseball is an emotional game, and we let the guys know upfront that we're going to be on them to perform and eliminate mistakes every game out, because we had limited time to work within. The kids did very well. This little "mini" season is a good exhibition to what awaits them in a year or two. Having expectations, rising to expectations and delivering when called upon are situations that we want to put them in now and have them respond. EVERY TEAM MEMBER took their test and passed. We didn't stop coaching them hard- because we care about their development. I am very proud of our team for their desire to play, get better and improvement.

I would like to give a special thanks to Kevin Bowman and Ken Mellette for helping coach this team. They did most of the work and were instrumental in knowing the rules to this new game, helping motivate the players and keeping the boys reminded of the little fundamentals that help make a complete baseball player. I value their time out there as a parent and coach along side them. Special thanks to Chip Wilson for helping with practice and keeping the scorebook for us this year. You never know....maybe we have another tourny in our future this summer.....but, if not- maybe we put it all together again and do this next year???


That's the first article, and the last article written about our inaugural Bandits team TEN years ago. Time flies when you're dragging baseball fields. Some of the rhetoric from above sounds familiar doesn't it? The general approach doesn't change, but the details update a little every year. We are looking forward to going into our tenth year for our program, and hope to continue to make positive strides on the field each day. Special thanks to Stacy for doing what nobody else I know could or would do. I know how much time goes into this, and I don't say "thank you" enough. Ten years of doing all this is a lot of personal time spent on others...so thank you so much for all you do.

We ended up not having a tryout for a new player, since the weather was uncooperative. We ended up taking a player who tried out and almost made the team LAST year - Hunter Hartness. He has come to two years of off season training and worked to be a better ball player. He now gets to learn on the field all the little nuances required to be able to compete against the teams we face each weekend. A big world just opened up for him, but we are confident he will progress nicely.

There are two other Belmont Bandits teams this year:  Bandits 11u (McCarn) and Bandits 9u. We will share the fields with these teams throughout the year. As a reminder - there is no trash service at the fields, so please take home any trash you bring to the field.

This past weekend we were able to get onto the field for practice in great weather. Even though that may not be available in the coming weeks, we will still get our work in where we can. We have a work day coming up this weekend, and look to finalize our turf over concrete areas and get field #2 back to playing condition. We have worked on field #1 for several years and it's a little easier to maintain, so it is ready for the most part. 9u and 11u (McCarn) will be on that field a good bit, while we are on field #2. During the work day we will try to scrape the grass off that field, and get it playable;  until then our team will just have to deal with the adversity of tougher field conditions. Recent fundraising our team has done should help get the field much better in the next few weeks.

The last couple of years, our players essentially just pay for their uniform to play. This is on the opposite end of the spectrum for what you may find elsewhere...especially if you practice over 70 times and play about 50 games in a sixth month period. It's a great deal. All of that is due mostly to our great sponsors. We really have a community that cares, and proves that by offering to help make this team happen every year. Gone are the days when four neighborhood kids would be in the far back of a Country Squire station wagon for 3:30-5pm practice. We ask a lot of the parents these days;  from multiple two hour practices weekly, to traveling two and three hours away to watch their boy play. We appreciate those committed to our team. That loyalty tends to get repaid when navigating life's roads. Some call it karma. I call it - being an adult and leading your children by a good example. Continue to genuinely pull for each boy on the team, and it will help your own. I believe that, without question. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Lastly, we will turn it up a notch this year. At age 11 the boys are able to do more physically and mentally. Right about age 12-13, baseball becomes an absolute talent game for the most part;  so the skill we've developed and continue to work on will be crucial in their next steps onto other ballfields in years to come. In anything we do this year be it scrimmages, games, practices or checkers ... we are going to do it full speed and without apology. We have to do that because we will face teams who are flat out great this year. We have signed up for some tournaments that show teams who have players from multiple states on one team and others who have 90% win percentage records. We need to prepare for a bear, so we will do so. With one great practice in the books, our coaching staff looks forward to many more like that one this past Sunday. We will be sending out a practice schedule soon, which will consist of only weekend practices until early March. See you soon at the ball fields.




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