County softball league makes changes
For most Summit County residents, it is just now becoming time to think about softball season. But the board of the Summit County Softball League has been planning for the upcoming season for months.
Some changes are already under way.
First, the league has done away with the seasonal position of commissioner and created two positions in its place: the year-round director position and the seasonal assistant director.
Last year’s commissioner, Dale Tuel, is now the assistant director, and Steve Wilkins, a third-year Summit resident, was hired to be the director.
“The amount of teams has doubled, and we haven’t really changed anything on how we managed (the league),” said Summit County Softball Board president Mike Pierson. “We want to expand Summit County Softball as the population grows. It’s not a May through August job anymore.”
Wilkins’ main responsibility is to run the league’s communications and promotions. He has created a new Web site (www.summitcountysoftball.com) that will eventually have standings, schedules, rosters, registration forms, news and a calendar of tournaments. The site is still a work in progress, Wilkins said.
Wilkins also will be present at the fields, whether Blue River Park in Silverthorne or Kingdom Park in Breckenridge, to answer questions and discuss the progress of the league on game nights.
“I’ll be out there every night for people to talk to me, get feedback and generally just be there,” Wilkins said.
He also has a goal of increasing participation in the season’s three tournaments: the June 22-23 Mountain Invitational, the July 20-21 Spider Stevens Memorial and the Aug. 3-4 Kingdom Invitational. Another project is to re-invigorate the all-women’s division.
“The women’s league has been going downhill for a few years now,” Pierson said. “Last year it was just holding on by its fingernails.”
The coed division, on the other hand, has blossomed the past few years. The men’s league has seen more modest growth. In all, about 100 teams and 1,100 players were involved last year.
With a new year-round communications and promotional person in Wilkins, the league hopes its growth is just beginning.
“We’re very excited to take Summit County softball to the next level,” Pierson said. “We’re trying to get the community spirit and involvement back so we’re not just a niche of Summit County but a big part of Summit County.”
As assistant director, Tuel will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the league and the training and recruitment of umpires.
The season begins May 28. Team applications are already being accepted and are due May 3. A manager’s meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. May 8 at the Lakeside Bowl in Dillon. Coed, Men’s and Women’s divisions will be offered. All teams will play anywhere from 12 to 14 games plus an end-of-year tournament in August. Anyone interested in becoming an umpire ($17-$25 per game) should call the league at (970) 468-8527.
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