This summer may have been slow to heat up, but youth sports have been hot here in Delta for quite a while.
For weeks, a combined 10U and 12U Delta baseball team has been traveling to Fairbanks every Friday to play against other teams in the interior in the 12U age group. The hope is to get young Delta players some extra practice against outside teams to build strength, confidence, and skills that they’ll need to play in later years.
Coaches Wes Pinkelman, Chris Zachgo, and Jeff Lansing combined with baseball association president Tony White to organize games with Fairbanks teams this summer. Coaches Jimmy Terry and Jon Brant round out the leaders that made all this come together for the players. Each coach has a player on the team.
“Traveling to Fairbanks has given us a competitive edge to work towards something different. If all we see is the same competition, time in and time out, we won’t be able to grow to our potential,” said Pinkelman.
The traveling team is comprised of young athletes ages 7-12 years who are able to travel and who played during the regular baseball season in Delta. The coaches hope that Delta teams will soon be put on the permanent schedule for Fairbanks summer games.
A tournament will be played in Delta during fair weekend (July 27-29), with three Fairbanks teams coming down for the competition. Games will start Friday at 6 p.m. at the Delta Community Park and will continue all day Saturday after the fair parade.
The concession stand will be open for snacks and drinks, and custom-made tournament shirts will be available for purchase. All proceeds go towards baseball travel and expenses.
A skills competition will be held during the tournament, with awards such as “Gold Glove,” “Speed Demon,” and “Silver Slugger” up for grabs, as well as others and both game and tournament MVPs.
Although this is the first Delta tournament for the players, the coaches are hoping to make it an annual event. For that happen, the players need community support. Volunteers Todd, Trinity, and Jerry Zachgo are all credited with keeping the ball fields maintained at the park this summer – which is a staggering job alone – but more people are needed to help to make this tournament a success.
Volunteers for umpires, field maintenance, game scoring, and concession stand are needed. To help, contact Pinkelman at 907-505-0022.
See you at the ballfield during fair weekend. Go Huskies!