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Coach’s Message 6.6.2020

Players, parents, friends of Cougar baseball and coaches, this message updates you on where we currently stand with the planned start to our summer 2020 season. Our last message to you was dated 6.1.2020.

Jeffco is releasing facilities to coaches on 6/22/2020 but certain return to practice and play protocols have to be documented and met. At a minimum, we will be looking for parent assistance in meeting those best practices to include:

  1. Purchase and stationing of hand sanitizer in both dugouts, at the concession stand and as you walk up the steps to our stands, along with face masks.

  2. Purchase and use of digital face temperature gauges (3). One in each dugout and the third at the concession stand.

  3. Purchase and placement of advisory signage. Signage will list best practices to be followed such as: sick- stay at home; exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 please self-quarantine.

  4. No more than 25 persons allowed on the field and in one gathering place.

  5. Exercise social distancing. Wear a mask.

  6. For players: no sharing of water, food, beverages, towels, bats, gloves, helmets. When in the dugout please exercise sound judgement and socially distance, utilize the bullpen area to sit. Pitchers once done with their pitching assignment and post throwing workout will be released to leave the field.

  7. Execution of a plan to clean dugouts, field, equipment after each practice, game.

  8. Completion of a form acknowledging that player participation is voluntary, they agree to adhere to COVID-19 best practices, State, NFHS and NCAA/NAIA directives and student-athlete situational awareness.

This weekend, assistant coaches will be canvassing players for interest in summer and fall 2020 baseball. They will be asking about availability, level of commitment. If a player has committed to play for another team, program we respect that decision. This summer and fall our teams will be made-up of players that place our program above other practices and play. We discussed this balance and again do not have any problem with a player playing for another summer team but this summer we are drilling as a unit (team) focusing hard on dynamic practices for player development in a number of key areas. We also will be building experience with our offensive and defensive strategies and plays through practices and game execution as a team.

Once we get the final numbers and rosters built, we will come up with the practice schedule and game/tournament or showcases that we want to play. For 18/16u I have spoken with other H.S. coaches and a few JUCO coaches that are interested in playing us and that are doing the same thing that I have outlined above. Travel will be scrutinized. Cost per player will be minimal since we are not ordering any more uniforms. Cost will be determined once I get final roster names, numbers. We will budget for baseballs, umpires, required field equipment (a couple more benches to allow for social distance), and game/field sharing costs with other teams/coaches. We are not planning on signing up for and participating in big dollar tournaments or showcases but leveraging our relationships with other competitive H.S. and JUCO coaches and their programs. We are part of a couple significant showcase tournaments at Cheyenne Mtn H.S., UCCS and at TSJC. There also is a 3 day showcase in GJ in July.

If you are interested, reach out to a coach and discuss:

  • 15u

  • Matt Smith - 303.505.0440

  • Dan Schmidt - 303.588.0230

  • 16u

  • Hal Farmwald - 574.202.2767

  • 18u

  • Connor Gardiner - 720.625.0274

  • John Lipka - 303.807.8974

  • Pitchers

  • Randall Bulliard - 337.552.4205

At a minimum, we probably will host two teams this summer: a 15u and an 18/16u hybrid. Teams will not practice together. Games will be scheduled at the 15u, 16u and 18u level of play. Players will wear their summer tops from last year and Cougar gear as purchased for spring 2020.

Now the hard part- it will take a strong effort for players and parents volunteering their time to help get our field ready to practice and play on. John Bellatti has been working on it but we will need parents to step-up once again and help with:

  • dropping and fastening the outfield curtain;

  • hanging nets;

  • ordering and stationing the COVID-19 countermeasures;

  • finishing the concession stand renovations; and

  • basic field (grass) prep work.

We still do not have water turned on and we are working with the District to get that done. I am pricing 3-4 aluminum benches with backs that are needed to facilitate the player social distancing requirement. We will be looking for families that might be interested in purchasing these benches. We will put small plaques on each bench identifying the family or friends that purchased these benches and they will stay with the field and bullpen year-round and be used in the spring season too. If we are unable to get the volunteer support needed to do this- we will not have a summer program. That is reality. I know that we can collectively rally.

The NFHS school grade field benches we need can be found on the Beacon Athletics website – 8’ aluminum benches with backs. We can go with the style that go into the ground and I will dig the holes and set them in concrete since they are cheaper than benches with legs.

I look forward to hearing back from my assistant coaches and discussing rosters with them. We are committed to player development and summer, fall 2020 then spring 2021 play. Thank you all and I hope this message finds everyone well and ready to get back to baseball work.

Head Coach John Lipka

Evergreen H.S. Baseball

Evergreen Cougar Baseball Club

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