Hinesburg-Charlotte baseball merge
By Ben Wetzell | The Charlotte Record
Baseball is America’s favorite game, but in the small town of Charlotte, baseball is struggling to find new players. Gus Lunde (8th grade), Santiago Vazquez (8th grade) and Riley Marchand (7th grade) are among the names of those who play baseball from Charlotte.
Three players; not quite enough for a team, right? You may ask, how can we attend to this dilemma?
Well, the school decided that we should join with Hinesburg to become one team. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately they have more than enough players for one team with 23 players. As most of you probably know, there are nine players on the field at once, and as with most sports teams, you will have a few subs. So, 23 players is an immense number for the amount of required players. I recently asked my friend Gus what he thought about the joining of the two teams, and he says, “I’m excited that I get to play baseball, but the number of players will shorten the minutes I get in a game.”
Gus isn’t the only one to think this way. Riley Marchand said, “I preferred the CCS school team, but I am excited to see how it turns out for this year.”
I believe that the reason why our teams had to combine is because there is a CCS trend of fewer baseball players but more lacrosse players. I have started to see this same trend throughout the entire nation. According to ESPN writer David Schoenfield, “Youth baseball players aged 7 to 17 have declined from 8.8 million in 2000 to 5.3 million in 2013, and the number of softball players has declined from 5.4 to 3.2 million.”
So, Charlotte isn’t the only town or city to see declining numbers in baseball. You may ask why the numbers are declining. My thesis is that the booming increase of lacrosse is leading to fewer baseball players. The NCAA reports that lacrosse is “the fastest-growing NCAA sport, with more than 36,000 students playing at the college level. There were 60 new college lacrosse programs added in 2013, with another 39 expected to be added this year.” If you didn’t know already, both sports occur in the spring, so they compete for the few valuable players. As I have stated above, more student players have been choosing lacrosse.
So what’s next for the future of baseball? The small town of Charlotte, Vermont, is already having issues fielding players for baseball. If Little League isn’t thriving, how will there be enough adult players to play baseball 20 years from now? Will similar issues be reflected in major league baseball?
America is now known for apple pie and baseball; if we have concluded that baseball is losing players, is it possible that America will be known for apple pie and lacrosse?
Q&A with CCS lacrosse coaches
By Sean Gilliam | The Central Record
Lacrosse is Charlotte’s most attended sport. No other spring sport can compete size-wise with the 24-player team. With lacrosse becoming a major sport in our students lives, [CCS Editorial Team] thought it was a good idea to interview the coaches.
Q: What is your coaching experience?
Ray Gilliam (RG): After I graduated from Hobart College, I spent a year coaching youth lacrosse in Western Australia. When my son was in kindergarten, I started coaching youth lacrosse in northern California. In 2009, when my family moved to Vermont, I started coaching recreational lacrosse. For the last three years, I have been coaching with the 802 Lacrosse Club.
Pete Cahn (PC): I started coaching lacrosse 11 years ago. I started with the third and fourth grade Charlotte-Hinesburg team. I co-coached with a lot of other people over the 11 years. During those years, I also started a kindergarten, first and second grade program in Hinesburg that is still going today. I stayed at the 3/4th level for five years until my son Kyle was ready to move on to the 5/6th grade level. Since then I have followed him. Early on, I became certified with US Lacrosse, which includes a Positive Coaching Alliance workshop. I have also coached Kyle in soccer from kindergarten to 5th grade.
Q: What background do you have in lacrosse?
RG: I played at Hobart and won four Division III lacrosse championships. After college, I played at the New York Athletic Club for nine years. When I moved to San Francisco, I played for the Olympic Club.
PC: I started playing lacrosse in high school (Byram Hills High School). My school/town did not have a youth lacrosse program. I played four years in high school. I ended up going to a college that did not have a lacrosse program. There I played summer league in Westchester, New York, during my college years and a couple of years after college. I also played a couple of years of spring league once I graduated from college.
Q: What college team do you try to model when you coach rec lacrosse?
RG: I love to watch Syracuse because they play a fast-paced, run-and-gun style of lacrosse. I think this style of lacrosse makes the game fun and exciting and teaches young boys how to think on their feet. I give them an outline, and they work around that.
PC: Because I have coached with so many different people over the years, I’m not sure I model my coaching after any specific college program. I think I have been influenced by many different individuals throughout my coaching.
Q: What do you look for in a player?
RG: I always look for a good work ethic. There are many different roles to play on the lacrosse field, and if a player is willing to work hard, he can usually contribute to the team.
PC: I look for players to be the best teammate they can and give 100 percent effort when on the field, whether it is practice or a game. I like my players to be good sports whether they win or lose. It is important to me for players to respect their teammates and the game. Players should always be working to be better in every aspect of the game.
Q: What are your goals for the team this year?
RG: I want to give the boys a good fundamental knowledge of how to play lacrosse and have fun.
PC: My goals are for our players to come together as a team, to support and respect each other no matter how the games go. I would like to see our team get to the point where we are executing what we practice. Of course, it is always great to go far in the playoffs, but skill development and execution for me are sometimes more important than our record.
Q: If you had to name one thing that is the most important for the team to remember, on and off of the field, what would it be?
RG: Whatever the task, give it 100 percent.
PC: That is a great question…I think players should remember that while sports like lacrosse are just games, they are a metaphor for life. It is my feeling that if players are supportive and respectful to their teammates, their opponents, and the referee, that is most likely who they will be in life off the field.
CCS athletes moving on
By Aidan Trus | The Central Record
Charlotte sports teams have produced successful athletes throughout the years, many of whom have moved on to CVU to present the same skills that they showed during their years at CCS. They have gone on to be starters on varsity teams and to become local heroes for Charlotte citizens.
Charlotte Central School’s former students have helped lead their teams to victory and have showed impressive skills when playing. Some of these students have even made varsity teams for many sports, although freshly graduated from CCS and only in their freshman year. Others have been playing on these teams for a longer period of time and will be continuing their athletic careers outside of CVU. Our school is proud of the fact that students who once walked CCS halls and played on CCS teams have moved on to show their CCS pride and skill further in their athletic careers.
Enjoyed these young journalists’ articles? You can find the next part at The Central Record, part three