Eye on Ellis County

Neal White

If you know of a high school-age kid who wants to play recreational baseball this spring, please pass this column along.

Registration will continue through March 20 for the Waxahachie Youth Baseball Associationís 18U division that provides kids ages 15-18 the opportunity to continue play ball. It is Ellis Countyís only baseball league for high school kids and we have players from just about every community in Ellis and the surrounding areas participating.

This year we are hoping to keep the growth going and have even more teams.

Last season was just phenomenal, as our kids wrapped up the year with our end-of-season tournament at Richards Park that came down to the last at bat to determine the league championship.

During the regular season, all games will be held at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. Weíre shooting for a 12 game regular season, with an end-of-season tournament to again determine who goes home with the big trophy and the title of league champions.

Even though it is competitive, WYBA operates a true rec league in all of its divisions ó meaning every team bats the entire lineup and every player participates on defense in every game.

While many of our returning players have already signed up for the 2011 season, I know there are a lot of kids who want to play but either havenít heard about the league or are doing what most high school kids do best, procrastinate.

Please, help me get the word out so we can make sure that everyone who wants to play baseball has that opportunity.

Once the teams have been set for the season, I canít take new registrations.

Every season it breaks my heart to have kids come up to me during the first week of play and ask if they can still get on a team. My goal this year is to make sure they have that chance.

Parents may sign up their kids online at the leagueís website at www.wybonline.org, or they may stop by the Daily Light office at 200 West Marvin Ave., in Waxahachie and fill out the registration form. They may also call me at 214-673-3695 and Iíll find a way to get a form to them.

Again, the last day to register is March 20 ó just a few days away. Following signups, we will schedule a players evaluation session at the sports complex and coaches will draft teams immediately following evaluations.

The regular season will begin in late April ó after freshmen and JV teams complete their season, so if there are freshmen and JV players looking to gain extra playing time our league is a great opportunity for that.

The registration fee is $100 per player and includes team jersey, cap and full season of games. Trophies will also be awarded to the first and second place teams following the end-of season-tournament.

We also need coaches.

If there is anyone interested in coach or help coach one of our 18U division teams, please call me at 214-673-3695 or shoot me an e-mail at neal.white@wninews.com.

More than anything, please clip this out and pass along to someone you think might want to play baseball this spring.

This is my fourth year serving as the WYBA 18U Commissioner, and it has been one of the most rewarding volunteer jobs Iíve ever had. Nearly every week I have kids who have long since graduated high school stop by or call just to say thanks for the opportunity they had to continue to play baseball in high school. It is a great program, and it sure is a whole lot of fun for everyone.

With spring just around the corner, all of us at WYBA look forward to seeing you soon at the ballpark.

Itís time to get in the game.

Neal White is the Editor of Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. He is also a member of the board of directors for Waxahachie Youth Baseball Association, currently serving as the 18U Commissioner. Contact Neal at neal.white@wninews.com or 469-517-1457.