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South Euclid Youth Softball Baseball Association

Fall Hardball / SE Dirt Dawgs

Dirt Dawgs Director:  Tom Denk [email protected]

updated 2/25/22

Fall hardball teams (Games may SAT 8/13 but definitely 8/20 - practices and tryouts earlier).

Fall league hardball is perhaps the best way for a player to grow their skills once the summer season is complete.  Five years ago, volunteers helped bring back South Euclid's first fall ball team in seven years, playing in the Travel Ball Alliance's East fall league.  The informal SEYSBA players have evolved into the SE Dirt Dawgs, our overall fall organization for hardball.  

Teams play two games back-to-back on a Saturday (times vary in morning and afternoon).  This fall we start on Saturday 8/13 and then have five more weekends of play - not playing over Labor Day weekend. I will update this once I learn when we start.  Players can be (potentially) ages 8-14 this year.   This depends on # of competitive players and appropriate volunteer coaches.

Games are played in Euclid, Mentor, Cleveland Heights and Mayfield Heights.  These fields are all decently kept and have historically offered bathrooms and seating - but with COVID changing some cities protocols, we'll learn what we have once the season begins.

In fall ball, players traditionally play the rules of the age they will be the next summer.  This is to prepare them to the new rules and larger fields. That's why this is a development-centric (but competitive) league.   We have to get our own uniforms.  The fall leagues use quality, sanctioned umpires and are generally well-organized and well-ran.  Opponents are a mix of intense travel clubs and rec-league conglomerates.  Our older team has held their own the past two seasons but be prepared to possibly play some of the elite travel clubs in NE Ohio.

We will hold try outs in on SAT 7/16 (times not yet finalized).  We run a clinic-style tryout to assess the players.  I will post the exact times when we have them.
(Registration and warm up 6-630 with immediate start at 630-830pm).  Players out of town on these dates can attempt to set up a tryout with the organization.  Generally, we want the players to play in our SEYSBA organization but we do accept players from other east side communities.  We keep about 10-12 players per team.  We communicate the final rosters via email, not at the tryouts.

The Dirt Dawgs want the players to enjoy baseball but we also have intensive practices.  We are careful with our pitchers if they've pitched a lot in the summer.  Players are expected to be committed to showing up at all games and practices, with this as their priority.  Playing time is merit-based and players should be prepared to engage in healthy competition.  Line-ups and positional play are solely the focus of the team managers so all players need to be team-centric and willing to try new tactics, methods and positions if necessary.  Players must accept hard coaching, period.

THIS IS A 100% VOLUNTEER-DRIVEN ORGANIZATION, SO WE NEED 2-3 COACHES PER TEAM.  If no adequate coaches step up, there are no teams, period.  

To do this right it costs about $1500 per team. All money goes to the Dirt Dawgs fall teams this year. We offer SEYSBA's non-profit tax ID for sponsors willing to support our team.  Based on sponsors found by parents, per player cost will likely be $100-125.  For comparison, the families on the travel clubs are paying generally $1500-$4000  per summer, and then fall costs, and then costs for tournaments including travel, entry fees and lodging.  We'll buy hats, jerseys and socks and replace a few training tools that get broken, pay for new baseballs, umps, and all league fees.  Not one penny from sponsors/parents goes outside of costs.  

What teams are we fielding?  It depends on the quality of our talent.  I know what the quality of play is for this league.  If we don't have the necessary talent, we will not field a team.  No need for the kids to waste their Saturdays in a league way over their heads.   To be honest, finding the coaches to helping grow our program is harder than finding players.  Further, we give opportunity to players from lower-income families, so a sponsorship is HUGE.

We need pitching.  
We need catching.  
We need players looking to drive the baseball.  
We need coaches.
We want Dirt Dawgs.