President's Message - Public Meeting 10/23/19
President Cory Fink addressed all who attended our public meeting last night. Below is a copy of his message to our community:
"Good evening, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome each of you to our annual public meeting.
Since 1952, Easton Little League has provided a first class experience for the youth and families of Easton, the one constant through the seasons is the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and community sponsors.
A strong volunteer base is at the center of every successful Little League Program, and my friends, Easton Little League is no different … 83 dedicated volunteers served our League in the past year as board members, managers, coaches, umpires, scorekeepers, or dugout helpers. Recently several local leagues have been on the brink of folding due to a lack of volunteers, specifically bringing on new board members who will give of their time, learn, and continue to both move the league forward and foster the principals of Little League – Character, Courage, and Loyalty. We, like any other volunteer organization depend on the recruitment and retention of those volunteers, and I ask that each of you consider stepping forward to lead our Board.
Our planning for a successful season starts in the fall of the prior year with the election of our Board of Directors who meet at the conclusion of the Public Meeting to elect specific board positions. It is the commitment of the Board of Directors, who are tasked with guiding the affairs of our league and in so doing, creating a positive culture of personal growth, teamwork, commitment, spirited competition, and fun! The Board of Directors remained busy, making changes to our League Constitution, hosting a pit beef fundraiser, updating our very old by-laws, and having discussions with Home Run Baker regarding our softball program.
This past year was no different – the bulk of our league registrations were conducted on-line, and we hosted two separate in person registrations at the First Wesleyan Church on Goldsborough Street. Assessments were well thought out and went off without a hitch utilizing a new numbered lanyard method and separate times for our divisions. Opening Day, brought local dignitaries from the Town Council, Mayor of Easton, and State Senator Addie Eckardt to North Easton Park, where the newly renovated Anthony Field was unveiled and our teams displayed team banners and were introduced for the season.
As a league, we had 278 youth participating, fielding 7 t-ball teams, 4 AA (Coach Pitch), 4 AAA, 3 Little League, 3 Junior League, and 1 Senior League boys’ teams. On the softball side, we fielded 1 8U, 2 10U, and 1 12U team.
As a league we hosted the District 6 8-10 boys’ tournament, with former President Jeff Parks serving as Tournament Director, our thanks to him and the many volunteers who aided in making the tournament a success. A lot of time and effort is put into making this district tournament a success – from field prep, to sound, scorekeeping, scoreboard operations, tracking pitch count – all on two separate fields.
Our all-star teams remain competitive in District 6, our 9-11 boys competed in the state tournament held in Salisbury, the 10-12 boys won the District Title and competed hard at the state tournament in Frederick, finishing in 3rd place, while sending three other teams home out of the elimination bracket. The Junior League boys battled their way out of the elimination round to the Championship game against District winner Dorchester County. The 10U girls too made it to the Championship game against District 6 winner Tri-City.
Our Fall Instructional Program, is still underway, where we have 25 participants. Other leagues from District 6 joined us again this year, including South Caroline, and HRB.
I know that perhaps many of you have questions about the softball program and what it may look like for the 2020 season, as I mentioned earlier, our board has engaged in several conversations with Home Run Baker and our District Administrator. The Board voted earlier this month to relinquish our rights to the softball program as part of Easton Little League to allow for the formation of a Talbot Softball charter. Many factors led to this decision, including mutual interest from HRB, historical registration numbers within both ELL and HRB, and the overall long-term preservation of softball in Talbot County. I can assure you this decision was not reached without a spirited conversation. While this will have an impact on our operations, financially it should remain cost-neutral. The Board ultimately approved for this to occur so long as a new Talbot County Softball Board of Directors, Constitution, and Charter from Little League International is completed by December 15, 2019. In the event that this is not completed, we, as Easton Little League would resume control over our program in time for spring registration to occur.
I would like to recognize and thank our out-going Board members who have volunteered a countless number of hours and given so freely of their time over the years – Bryan Trautman, Jeff Bridges, and Marty Cassell. These men have contributed many hours of their time on the fields, in meetings, and guiding our process. Bryan has served as Vice President of divisions, our league VP, coach, manager, All-Star Coach and Manager and most recently as Safety Officer. Jeff has served for the past two years as our Umpire in Chief, and worked tirelessly to bring umpires to our AAA games this past year. Marty has been a part of the Board of Directors for the past 15 years and has served in a variety of capacities including coach, manager, division VP and League VP. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and cannot thank them enough for the lasting impact to our league and the many lives they have touched."