Summer fun can often be described in one word: baseball.
Clintonville Youth League players, coaches and volunteers will offer two opportunities for the community to join in on the fun as they host tournaments during the weekends of July 11-13 and July 18-20.
Two weekends of fun
Players on 8U and 9U teams will show off their skills during the first weekend at Bucholtz Park, while 10U, 11U and 12U teams take the field July 18-20. Some of the 10U, 11U and 12U games will be played at Bucholtz Park, and some will be played at W.A. Olen Athletic Field.
Clintonville Youth League President Pat Danforth said the league has been organizing these tournaments for many years, and is pleased to welcome several teams this year.
“We have so many teams that enjoy coming to this tournament year after year,” said Danforth. “This year, we have teams from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, Green Bay, Seymour, Waupaca, Shiocton, Bay Port, and Stevens Point, to name a few. Our tournament has always been a popular one for these teams. We had to turn several other teams away this year because team slots filled up quickly. Each tournament is its own event, and we’re distinguishing ourselves quite well.”
Danforth said Clintonville will field five teams—one in each age group.
“Each tournament weekend will bring in about 30 teams,” continued Danforth. “So, we will have a total of about 60 teams visiting our town during the tournaments. Conservatively, that adds up to about 2,000 people visiting Clintonville each weekend. Those families spend a good deal of money on concessions, groceries, gas, lodging and entertainment. Assuming that each family spends about $100 during the weekend, several thousands of dollars are spent in our town over these two weekends. Several teams stay in hotels, sometimes filling them up. Other families like to stay at local campgrounds. It all adds up to a very positive economic boost for our community.”
Danforth noted that the City of Clintonville provides free pool passes to all athletes, giving them a chance to cool off and have some more fun at the city outdoor pool in Bucholtz Park.
Quality facilities and staff
“These tournaments also serve as our main fundraiser to support the Clintonville Youth League,” explained Danforth. “Registration fees pay for the costs of operating the league, but this tournament allows us to have a little money in the bank for facility improvements and new equipment every year. Some recent upgrades include infield tarps that can be used overnight or during the day to keep the rain off, allowing the fields to remain playable even during poor weather. The league has made a significant investment in equipment over the past three years, and that can be attributed to our tournaments’ success.”
Concessions are offered throughout the tournaments, and breakfast will be a new addition to the menu this year.
Games are umpired by former athletes who are home from college for the summer. Some umpires also serve the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).
“All of our umpires are certified,” said Danforth. “They know the game well and can keep it moving along.”
Fun for athletes and families
Trophies are provided for first through third place teams, while medals are provided for fourth place teams.
“The kids really enjoy winning a trophy or a medal,” said Heidi Cartwright, who serves as the league’s vice president of information. “It’s a pretty big deal for them, and it’s nice to be able to give out good trophies.”
“Our ultimate goal is to bring in as many families as possible and try to get them to stay here throughout the tournament.
“We want people to enjoy our hospitality and see all of the nice parks and attractions that Clintonville has to offer.”
The league will hold a special Championship Night on July 14, between the two tournaments. This event will feature several special activities and surprises for players who have competed in the league throughout the regular season. An “All-Star Challenge” will incorporate fun for all ages, including tee ball players. Championship games will be held, trophies will be awarded, and sponsor plaques will be presented to the many local businesses that supported the league this year.
Danforth and Cartwright said volunteers are always needed to ensure the success of the league. “Anyone interested in volunteering their time can contact Tournament Director Cory Christopherson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org,” said Cartwright. “We are always looking for families and community members who want to help make youth baseball successful in Clintonville.”
Clintonville Youth League 12U players in photo are FRONT: Keegan Meyer, Noah Kiefer, Dylan Danforth, Blake Hopp, Klay Barkow and Chase Belongia; and BACK: coach Chris Rosenow, Seth Keller, Presley Rosenow, Jared Cartwright, Brady Ferg, Jarren Wilke, Matthew Seefeldt and coach Joston Cartwright. Photo Submitted by Pat Danforth