Written by Mineola American Staff Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.
Each player received an MAA “game ball,” stamped with the official MAA logo inside a protective ball cube.
The players receiving “game balls” were Kenny Solosky, Patrick Solosky, Kieran O’ Gara, Phil LaPierre, Andrew Geager, Sean Hembach, RJ Hazelton, Ryan Burke, Jack Dwyer, Thomas Tugander, Patrick Lanigan, Timmy Franz, Joshua Sandoval, Tino Frey, Kevin Pusey, Dennis Peitler, Robert Egan, Alan Nanu, Christian Duarte, Blake Klein and D.J. Ward.
The next award presented was to the players that are graduating from the Mineola Little League program and “moving up” to the Pony Leagues. MAA President Frank Giordano presented the graduation awards to R.J. Hazelton, Christian
Duarte, Robert Egan, Timmy Franz, Jack Dwyer, Patrick Lanigan and Phil LaPierre.
In late fall, the Mineola 12U team participated in the first annual Manhasset “Brawl in the Fall” Fundraiser Tournament and helped raise almost $4,000 for the AHRC. The boys not only helped raised money for a great cause, they took home the championship.
The players from the tournament team were recognized for their efforts and included Kenny Solosky, Patrick Solosky, Kieran O’ Gara, Timmy Franz, RJ Hazelton, Phil LaPierre, Sean Hembach, Thomas Tugander, Jack Dwyer and Christian Duarte.
The final player award presented was the “Hank Aaron Home Run” Award. This award is given to any player that hit a home run during the fall season. Award winners were Kenny Solosky, RJ Hazelton, Sean Hembach, Thomas Tugander, Kieran O’Gara and Jack Dwyer.
Head Coach Ken Solosky then presented his fellow coaches, Sean Burke, Dave Dwyer and Mauricio Duarte with a Starbucks gift card as a small way of saying thanks for all their help during the season.
Susan Solosky, wife of the head coach, was presented with a bouquet of roses.
The Mineola 12U Intramural baseball team is a developmental team that stresses fun and learning. Players are assigned to different positions and challenged to try pitching and catching. The players periodically go to the batting cage to develop their hitting skills.
The team has weekly clinics with guest instructors that develop their pitching, hitting and fielding skills. The clinics have featured a unique, “catcher’s station” at which an older travel team catcher works with the boys on this unique position. They also feature “guest instructors” that focus on a particular aspect of the game.