West Hartford Youth Baseball’s new executive board is a mix of veteran volunteers as well as some newcomers.
West Hartford Youth Baseball League (WHYBL), the longest-running youth baseball league in West Hartford, recently elected a new president and executive board, and has announced the opening of 2019 spring baseball registration.
Rob Hanawalt will lead the new executive board as president, taking over for Glynn Baron who led the board for the past two years.
“The new executive Board is a mix of people that have been in the league for a few years along with many new folks that will provide us with a critical, fresh perspective,” Hanawalt said. “They all have kids in the league, or kids that have very recently participated. The youth sports landscape is changing every year – more options for kids, greater expectations, and so on. This really helps us stay focused on what’s important for today’s players and families. A few new roles have been added as well, based on parent feedback.”
The 2019 WHYBL Executive Board (pictured above) includes:
|Bryant Piccioli||VP, Major League|
|PJ Louis||VP, Minor league|
|Josh Luksberg||VP, Instructional League|
|Kyle Jeter||VP, Training League and Tournament Director|
|Jeremy Sauer||VP, Summer and Fall Leagues|
|Rob Gallo||VP, Travel Programs and Umpires/By Laws|
|Dan Trolio||VP, Operations and Player Experience|
|Glynn Baron||Past President and Fields Coordinator|
|Liz Hanawalt/Mary Ellen Ladieu||Fundraising and Events|
|Kevin Hebert||Indoor Facility and Capital Improvements|
|Evan Levy||Marketing and Promotion|
|Sue White/Pat Cooney||Sponsorships and Donations|
|Erene Hammond||Registration and Assessments|
|Jeff Vanags||Website and Social Media|
|Sandy LaBranch||WHABA Liaison|
WHYBL, entering its 70th season in West Hartford, is affiliated nationally with Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball.
Hanawalt says they are focused on providing the best possible baseball experience for their young players and families. “Of course, that starts with the coaches,” he said. “Our league has a great group of coaches, many of whom played at a high level. They are committed to teaching the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and teamwork in a fun environment for the players.”
Hanawalt also noted that Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken provides the league with great national support, and a platform that provides them the flexibility and freedom to do their own things with scheduling and player development. “We are unique … we offer baseball programs at all times throughout the year, for all boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 12, and at all skill levels,” he said.
WHYBL offers recreational options in the spring, summer, and fall. They also have developed winter workouts and off-season programs held in their own indoor baseball facility. For the players looking for more competitive options, WHYBL’s Summer Travel program is quickly becoming known as one of the best in the state. They also provide opportunities for players to attend “once in a lifetime” experiences like nationally-known tournaments at Dreams Park in Cooperstown or at any of The Ripken Experiences in Maryland, South Carolina, or Tennessee.
“WHYBL has it all, really,” said Hanawalt.
Hanawalt has been around baseball his entire life. He played all through his childhood and into high school near Allentown, PA, before going on to be a left-handed pitcher for the University of Pittsburgh. He has coached baseball in some capacity at all levels up through high school, including coaching teams at all levels of WHYBL for the past five years. Most recently he managed the 11U Bulldogs, WHYBL’s Summer District/Travel team that won back to back Connecticut State Championships. In 2017, they were the first team in West Hartford to ever win a New England Regional Championship and advance to the World Series.
Hanawalt’s two children, Chase (12) and Max (10), have both been in the league since they were 6 years old. “Our experiences in this league have been fantastic,” he said. “The coaching, the format and the people are just top notch. We have met some of our very best friends here … and our kids are having a blast. I am honored to be in this new role.”
When asked what the new board’s immediate goal is for the league, he mentioned continue growing and sustaining the love of baseball in West Hartford. “We have big shoes to fill,” said Hanawalt. “The league has been doing some really great things the last few years – identifying new ways to invest in our players and coaches, developing more offerings, and enhancing the overall youth baseball experience for players and families.”
Over the last two years, the league opened their own indoor baseball facility (renovated this year), began providing free off-season clinics for players, and developed new partnerships with local baseball training professionals, businesses, and charities.
“Our parent survey results and registrations are strong. Our players are really enjoying their time here as they become better baseball players and teammates. That’s the most important thing for us, to keep building on that,” Hanawalt said. “We have a great leadership team in place and they have a lot of cool ideas. I am excited for the 2019 season and the future.”
Registration for the 2019 WHYBL Spring Recreational Baseball Season is now open, and forms can be found online here.
You can also follow WHYBL on Facebook @WestHartfordYouthBaseball; Instagram @westhartfordyouthbasball; and Twitter @WHyouthbaseball.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!