Summit Extreme Black Diamonds need local host families for college baseball players
Special to the Daily
2016 Summit Extreme Black Diamonds schedule
Summit County’s local collegiate team plays in the Mountain West Summer College Baseball League with five others, including Vail, Grand Junction, Eagle Valley, Steamboat and Glenwood Springs/Carbondale. All games are double-headers beginning at noon.
Tuesday, June 7 — Summit at Vail
Thursday June 9 — Summit vs. Grand Junction
Saturday June 11 — Summit at Eagle Valley (Gypsum)
Tuesday June 14 — Summit vs. Glenwood Springs
Thursday June 16 Summit at Steamboat
Saturday June 18 — Summit at Vail
Tuesday June 21 — Summit at Grand Junction
Thursday June 23 — Summit vs. Eagle Valley
Saturday June 25 — Summit at Glenwood Springs (Carbondale)
Tuesday June 28 — Summit at Steamboat
Thursday June 30 — Summit vs. Vail
Friday July 1 — Summit at Grand Junction
Saturday, July 2 — All-Star game and home run derby (TBA)
Tuesday July 5 — Summit vs. Eagle Valley
Thursday July 7 — Summit vs. Glenwood Springs
Saturday July 9 — Summit vs. Steamboat Springs
Start of league tournament
Summertime in Summit County means many different things to many different people.
For some, it’s hiking and biking. For others, it’s time on the lake. For the first time last summer, a new activity came to Frisco’s Peninsula Park: college baseball.
Players from around the country came to play at 9,000 feet and compete for the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds (SBD) for the inaugural season of the Mountain West Summer College Baseball League (MWSCBL). Over three months, the team and league introduced locals to the highest level of baseball ever in the county.
For coaches and players, the crisp double plays and monster hits were second only to the lively personalities and cultures on display from every corner of the country, including Georgia, New York and Minnesota.
“The overall chemistry was unmatched with any team I had ever been with,” 2015 SBD head coach Nick Eversole said.
Host a ballplayer
Now with season two for on deck for the Summit Squad, players are in need of host families for the season. Almost all 25 SBD players and coaches come from out of the state and will need a place to stay in order to play ball all season.
“Having those people in the community (who) want to help is going to be huge for us,” Eversole said, whose sentiments were echoed by league commissioner Joe LeFebre.
“College leagues wouldn’t survive or even be in existence if it wasn’t for the host family aspect,” LeFebre said.
The Summit players saw it firsthand in their inaugural year: None of last year’s success could have happened without the support of host families. Almost every member of the 2015 team, including coaches, relied on these behind-the-scenes stars for housing, a sense of family and social backbone.
Families had great success hosting players last year, without a single issue reported by players or hosts.
“To me, it was an excellent experience, and I still talk to all the guys,” 2015 host Mark Pierson said. “We were a second home for them, which was just great.”
His son, SBD player Zebulon, enjoyed having teammates and new friends at the home.
“Hosting three players was like having three brothers for the summer,” Zebulon said. “We were all close and didn’t feel like they were there just for baseball.”
Beyond the diamond
The 2015 Black Diamonds were talented on the field, but their service didn’t end there. The team hosted a number of youth clinics, helped at the Dillon Amphitheater concession stand and was a great role model for youth in the county.
In their spare time, SBD enjoyed some of the best of what Colorado has to offer, including zip-lining, golfing, going to Rockies baseball games and hiking Buffalo Mountain — the perks of playing ball in the High Country.
“You’re not just a hotel room to them. They kind of become part of your extended family,” Mark Pierson said. “The guys are just regular guys. They’ll talk to you just about anything you want to know.”
Another 2015 host, Bill Falcone, agrees with the Piersons. His son benefitted from seeing a real, live college player going through the reality of climbing the baseball ranks.
“It was a great mentor opportunity for my son to be mentored by a college player,” Falcone said. “My son became excited about playing in college and saw it as something that could be a reality instead of just a dream.”
Mark Pierson’s daughter, who plays rugby at Summit High School, also gained a lot from their presence, learning about nutrition and the dedication needed to be a college athlete.
“They were serious about their sport,” he explained. “They were here to have fun, but they worked out. They kept up on their workouts and kept their nutrition side … . I think it’s a great mentor program without being a mentor, especially if someone has kids in their household playing baseball. To me it’s a no-brainer to try and get somebody in and host them.”
Being a host family is a commitment and involves free room and board from June 4 to late July, which includes meals. Coaches and players have limited spending money during the seasons.
If you’re interested or just need more details, contact league commissioner Bill Falcone at 716-866-7036 or email@example.com.
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