Westport Youth Travel Baseball (WYTB) had record recent attendance at try-outs, with approximately 150 children registered for try-outs for the Spring 8U through 14U teams. Thank you to all of the parents who brought their children to try-outs and supported them this past week and to your children for participating. Your/your children's commitment to playing WYTB helps ensure our program can provide the best atmosphere possible for competitive youth baseball development in town. With so many children trying out, there were inevitably many difficult roster decisions made by the respective coaches. At the younger age levels, there were as many as four professional coaches who assisted with certain of the evaluations and had input into roster selection.
WYTB is very excited for the Spring season and the new program offerings, some of which are summarized below. Please see below for updates and rosters for the WYTB 8U through 14U Spring teams.
Communications: Parents of all players on the rosters below will be contacted via their email addresses on file with WYTB by their teams' head coaches very soon to welcome them to the team and provide relevant information regarding the season, including information regarding winter workouts, assistant coaches, uniforms and expectations for the Spring season. After you hear from the head coach, please send him any additional or alternative email addresses for communications going forward, which will be coordinated by the parent team manager, as applicable.
Roster Acceptance/Pricing: At the beginning of next week, each rostered player will receive an email requesting a deposit of approximately $350 (to be credited against a player's registration fees) to secure a spot on the team. If a parent declines on behalf of a player, or fails to accept, a roster spot within 7 days of receipt of the email, coaches will consider the invitation forfeited and will reduce the size of the team or reach out to the parents of another child to fill the spot. Final pricing information (which will include a contemplated tournament) will be shared in a separate email as the coaching staff for each team finalizes its respective program.
Winter Training: All teams will also have Winter training run by their coaches and other coaches at the Staples Fieldhouse or IST. While it is well recognized that children may have non-baseball Winter activities, players are highly encouraged to participate in these team workouts to ensure that they are developing their baseball skills and bonding with their coaches and teammates. Each head coach will send an email with a link to register for Winter training (billed separately) to all rostered players.
Spring Little League Requirement: All rostered WYTB players eligible to play Westport Little League are required to register and participate in Spring 2019 Westport Little League. Emails to follow next month with information to register.
Uniforms: After four years with the same design, WYTB will be introducing new game jerseys expected to feature sublimation, which will be available for purchase at ASF. The current design has not stood up well to the elements and Westport washing machines. The remainder of the kit (including the caps) will remain the same as that worn by players in the Fall on 9U through 13U teams so that such players can continue to wear these items. We will contact you to let you know when to bring in your children to ASF to be fitted for uniforms at the appropriate time.
NEW Westport 9U Blue Team: With many talented players trying out for the WYTB 9U Travel team this Spring, IST will offer the top performing players who did not make the WYTB 9U Travel team the opportunity to play on a 9U Blue team with more of a developmental focus. Chris Brown, also the head coach for the WYTB 9U Travel team, will lead this program along with another very experienced professional coach. This program will last for 8-9 weeks and feature two 90 minute practices per week and is expected to include up to 8 games against teams from other towns and participation in a local tournament. If, following winter workouts, the coaches deem the team ready for more competitive baseball, the team will play games in the East Shore Travel League in the same division that the WYTB 9U Travel team will participate. Chris will contact parents of players eligible to join this team via email with more information about this exciting program and registration information. As with the WYTB 9U Travel team, players on the 9U Blue team must play Spring Little League.
14U Team: The roster below for the WYTB 14U team will be supplemented in the Spring with players following a second tryout.
Tournaments: The curriculum for the 9U through 14U teams contemplates teams participating in the Weston Memorial Day Tournament and an additional tournament that may involve travel and the opportunity for an overnight stay. Players have been very enthusiastic about these tournaments and the bonding experience from playing in them. The tournaments can be expensive in the aggregate, fill up quickly and require a substantial time commitment from the coaches. Therefore, coaches will be identifying suitable tournaments well in advance to book for the applicable teams taking into account their understanding of players' scheduling conflicts and competitive ability. It will be challenging to find a weekend that works for everyone. Once we register for a tournament, we expect parents to honor the commitment as it is not fair to others if a team cannot field enough players to play competitively.
Live Batting Practice: WYTB and IST are excited to continue to offer live batting practice at IST. Parents of rostered players can sign up for individual sessions (either for one child or with other players) or purchase discounted packages to hit live pitching at IST. The pitching staff will include former semi-professional and professional pitchers who will adjust the speed and pitch selection to each batter's age and skill level or focus on a particular area or pitch (e.g., curveballs). The pricing is competitive with that of batting cages in surrounding towns, while offering the unique advantage of facing live pitchers with varying release points and deliveries.
Feedback: Head coaches will be available to explain why any child did not make a particular team. Parents may contact Glenn Katz of IST at
for detailed feedback from the applicable head coach as observed by the multiple evaluators during the try-outs. Please understand that in selecting rosters for teams, there were many difficult decisions made by the coaches. This opportunity to discuss your child's performance with a professional coach is for you to solicit constructive feedback—it is not a forum for campaigning for your child or making abusive or negative comments. We are confident that many of the players who did not make teams this Spring will be strong candidates for selection on teams in future seasons with continued practice and development in these areas.
Congratulations to the players who made the teams discussed in this email. They and you should feel very proud. We look forward to a terrific season. Happy Thanksgiving.
-- Westport Youth Travel Baseball Committee
WESTPORT YOUTH TRAVEL BASEBALL – SPRING 2019 TEAM ROSTERS:
8U Team – Head Coach: Joe Cossuto
9U Team – Head Coach: Chris Brown
10U Team – Head Coach: Joe Cossuto
11U Team – Head Coach: Scott Carew
12U Team – Head Coaches: John Miscioscia and John Paola
13U Team – Head Coach: Jeb Backus
14U Team* – Head Coach: Scott Carew
* To be supplemented in the Spring following a second try-out
Westport 11U - 2018 Fall East Shore League Champs!
The Westport Youth Travel Baseball 11U team defeated the Southington Travel Knights 4-1 tonight to claim the East Shore league championship. The team went 14-2 in the regular season and undefeated in the playoffs.
Front row (l-r): Mark Kelly, Jack Jacob, Oscar Nelson, Nate Bernstein, Charlie Curran, Samson Heyer Middle row (l-r): Will Briggs, Will Allott, Noah Saed, Danny McHugh, Paul Dottori, Connor Brill, Mason Tobias
Back row (l-r): Coaches Scott Carew, Vice Kelly, and George Chambrelli