Park City Baseball to welcome new changes in 2017
Youth program to host clinics through January
With the roughly 20 inches of fresh snow received in Park City over the holiday weekend, youth baseball might be the farthest thing in the minds of many in the area. But for Park City Baseball, a community-based youth baseball program, the 2017 season kicks off right away in January, as the program is undergoing a multitude of changes this new year.
“Like anything, when change is thrust upon you, you have a couple of different ways to adapt,” President Dave Wilcox said. “We feel pretty good about how things are looking for us this season.”
For the second year in a row, the Park City High School baseball coach, who is typically heavily involved with the youth program, has left for another program in the state. This leaves first-year coach David Feasler at the helm. While his job is focused primarily on the high school team, Feasler will remain an important piece to Park City Baseball.
As the high school head coach, Feasler will help teach Park City Baseball coaches during coaching clinics on Jan. 3 and Jan. 10. His input and teaching will be vital to how the rest of the coaches teach the kids in the program, who might eventually grow up to be future Miners.
“The whole goal is to keep the programs in alignment with the high school programs so that we’re teaching the kids the same way they’re going to be taught — the same fundamentals, principles — all the way through the high school years,” Wilcox said.
“Of course, we’re hoping that Dave is with us long enough as the high school coach that a lot of these kids will eventually get to play for him.”
In addition to the coaches clinics that will be held next week at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, the program will continue its annual players’ clinics, as well, but with a new twist.
What Park City Baseball has typically done in the past is hold tryouts at the beginning of a new year to place the kids into teams before holding player clinics. But Wilcox has come to find out that this process is inefficient for a number of reasons, the main one being most of the kids are pretty rusty from an offseason.
This year, Wilcox and company plan on hosting players clinics before the tryouts. Not only will this solve the rustiness issue, but it will also give kids who are curious a chance to get a feel for the program.
“We’re doing five clinics over the course of the next three weeks and those are going to be separate registration,” Wilcox said. “So anyone who wants to [participate], whether you’re playing [for Park City Baseball] or whether you’re looking to just play in a Little League program or whether you’re trying to get interested in it, they’ll have the ability to sign up for those clinics, which is something that has not been available.”
The five players’ clinics, which cost $100 for all of them, will be hosted from Jan. 14-31 on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Feasler, along with other PCHS coaches and players, will help put on the clinics with the rest of the Park City Baseball staff.
Wilcox’ hope is that these open player clinics will help grow the sport of youth baseball in Park City.
“Ideally, we might pick up some new faces, kids that maybe weren’t sure if they wanted to go straight to a tryout, but maybe after the clinics, they get excited about it,” Wilcox said. “We’ve always tried to be community based and I think this is a big step in that direction.”
For more information on any of the clinics offered by Park City Baseball, visit parkcitybaseball.org.
Park City High School senior Ben Agnew plays several significant roles on the baseball team, but his character off the field is just as important.