The cold temperatures did not chill attendance at the Westport Youth Travel Baseball (WYTB) try-outs, with approximately 125 children registering for try-outs for the Spring 9U through 14U-15U teams. Thank you to all of the parents who brought their children to try-outs 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. With so many children trying out, there were inevitably many difficult roster decisions made by the respective coaches.
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 9U through 14U-15U Spring WYTB teams that will be participating in East Shore.
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 regarding winter workouts, assistant coaches, uniforms and expectations for the forthcoming 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 $350 deposit (to be credited against registration) to secure a spot on the team. If players decline or fail to accept within a short period of time after being contacted, coaches will consider the invitation forfeited and will reduce the size of the team or reach out to another child to fill the spot. Final pricing information (which will not cover tournaments) 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: All rostered WYTB players are required to register and participate in Spring 2018 Westport Little League. Emails to follow with information to register for Spring Little League.
Coaches: As a reminder, for the Spring season, as was the case this past Fall, most teams will have a parent assistant coach who will assist during games and in some cases, with practices, and a parent team manager whom WYT and the coaches will select from among parents of rostered children who are interested. Professional roving hitting, pitching and catching coaches from IST will also work with each of the teams to supplement training with respect to these areas.
Uniforms: For players who played WYTB in the Spring on 9U through 12U teams or this past Fall on the 9U through 14U/15U teams (and who have not grown significantly or destroyed or lost their uniforms), the kit will remain the same in order to hold down costs, and they do not need new uniforms. For boys who played Advanced Baseball in the Spring, the uniforms have changed. Coaches will remind parents to bring their boys to ASF to be fitted for uniforms should they need them.
NEW Live Batting Practice: WYTB and IST are excited to introduce live batting practice at IST by mid-December. Using a convenient app, 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 (e.g., curveballs). The pricing will be competitive with that of batting cages in surrounding towns, while offering the unique advantage of facing live pitchers with varying release points and deliveries. More information to come on this exciting new offering.
NEW 9U Developmental Team: With nearly 40 children trying out for the 9U team, WYTB and IST have decided to increase the size of the 9U WYTB team and are pleased to introduce a new developmental program and team for those higher performing players who did not make the 9U WYTB team. This program will last for 8 weeks and feature a two hour weekly practice with two professional IST coaches, intrasquad scrimmages and an expectation to participate in one tournament and hopefully friendlies against Little League house teams in other towns when baseball ready to do so. For players who excel on this team, we will explore the possibility of call-ups to play on the 9U WYTB team in games and for practices in certain circumstances. IST will contact parents of eligible players via email next week with more information and a link to register.
Feedback: Head coaches will be available to explain why any child did not make a particular team. Parents may contact Glenn Katz at IST at
for detailed feedback on your child's baseball strengths and weaknesses as observed by the evaluators during the try-outs. Please understand that in selecting rosters for teams, there were difficult decisions made by the coaches. This opportunity to discuss your child's performance with Glenn or another IST coach is to solicit constructive feedback—it is not a forum for abusive or negative comments.
Congratulations to the children who made the teams. We look forward to a terrific season.
-- Westport Youth Travel Baseball Committee
WESTPORT YOUTH TRAVEL BASEBALL – 2018 SPRING TEAM ROSTERS:
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; assisted by Glenn Katz
13U Roster – Head Coach: Jeb Backus
14U/15U Roster* – Head Coach: Scott Carew
* To be supplemented in the Spring following a second try-out