It's that time of year already. The time of year when you begin to thing about NEXT year. The time of year when you begin to explore your options regarding spring baseball.
As you consider your options, let me tell you a little about Ken-Caryl Little League (KCLL).
KCLL is a Little League program, charted as a Little League organization, plays by Little League rules, and supports Little League values. We have a lot of fun playing the game of baseball. We believe baseball is a good way to build character, courage, and loyalty. And we understand that we are part of a community. That's why KCLL has invested tens of thousands of dollars improving area baseball fields. We practice hard and play a competitive game. However, we do not believe that winning is the primary goal. Rather, we recognize that winning and losing are part of playing the game of baseball. Both serve to improve the individual.
Our Spring registration opens in November. Our season will start in March. We will run our assessment in late February. Everyone that registers will be put on to a team. We may adjust the team level for specific skills of players. However, in general, ages for our program aligns to T-Ball for 5-6, Coach Pitch for 6-7, AA for 7-9, AAA for 9-11, Majors for 10-12, and Seniors for 12-13.
Our Little League program runs intra league games. We separate our players in to teams and play games against each other, maintaining standings, and then run a playoffs to crown a champion at the end of the season in late June.
Cost for the Spring Registration be around $250 (last year registration was $235 and next year will likely have a modest increase). There are very few extra costs involved beyond personal equipment. There is very little travel as all practices and games are played in and around the Ken-Caryl area. Most of our schedule is centered around Community Park near the corner of Chatfield Road and Kipling Street.
Our players have access to an optional ADDITIONAL program that is called the Ken-Caryl Tournament Teams (KCTT).
KCTT rosters will be selected in October with the try-outs conducted October 19. KCTT is for players that ALSO want to play in tournaments and non Little League games. KCTT has extra cost and time requirements. Tournaments often require some travel time. There will be no cost to register for KCTT and you will only incur expenses if you are selected to join a KCTT roster. Each KCTT team is managed by the individual coach. Practice time, funding, and general organization are provided team-by-team. Registration information can be found by clicking here. Want insight from a current KCTT coach? Click here for a summary of how a season of KCTT works.
KCLL isn't the best choice for everyone. But if you are looking for a high value experience that isn't just about baseball, we hope that you will consider KCLL for your son or daughter.
If you have any questions about our programs, please feel free to call, text, or email me.
Thank you for your support of Ken-Caryl Little League.
The following information was provided by one of the current KCTT coaches. If you are interested in participating on a KCTT roster - or interested in coaching - please click here for more information and/or to register.
Because each KCTT roster is run in accordance with the desires of those parents and the respective coaches, each KCTT team operates a bit different. KCTT isn't like KCLL. KCLL is an organization - KCTT is really just a single team, run by its coaches and parents. Thus, how each KCTT operates (i.e., how much practice, how much cost, how many tournaments) is entirely at their discretion.
In general, consider a KCTT roster to have the following general game plan:
Thanksgiving through Feb - practice indoors 1x per week
March - KCLL Opening Day - practice 2x per week, weather permitting
Opening Day - June - practice 1x per week on Sundays
Aug-Oct - Fall Ball
1 tournament in March
1 tournament in April
2 tournament in May
1 tournament in June
When, where, how often you practice?
Indoor facilities include Front Range Christian for cages. Other options include indoor gyms at churches or schools with practices focused on defensive skills (Note: indoor balls are used).
For outdoor fields, many baseball fields are available in early March.
If you plan to play an early season tournament, you BETTER practice all winter because all the early season tournaments are stocked with committed teams working all winter.
What tournaments do you play in?
5 common tournaments that are often made to fit the KCLL schedule are: Luck of the Irish, Cinco de Mayo, Spring Blast (all CABA tournaments) plus the CABA state championship and the Triple Crown Memorial Day Classic.
Tournaments run every weekend from about mid March through June, with some in July. There's no shortage. Triple Crown and USSSA tournaments are typically more competitive while CABA tournaments are slightly less competitive (based on the skills of the registered teams).
Tournament schedules can be found on the respective websites for Triple Crown, Rocky Mountain USSSA, and CABA. The coach will use the respective websites to register the TEAM for their tournaments. Each family will need to register the individual player online with the organization.
The first year a KCTT roster is assembled is typically the most expensive. You buy uniforms, bags, pullovers, and supporting practice equipment. If the team stays together and runs year-over-year, costs go down when you don't have to replace something already purchased.
The expense of practice facilities and the amount spent on tournaments is variable depending on the team's decisions. There is also an annual insurance policy of around $150.
A new team can expect to spend $5000-7500. With a roster of 12 players, that's over $500/player - excluding travel, food, and general expenses.
Costs can be offset with fundraising or sponsorships. Thus, it becomes a team-by-team choice to pay the cost or spend time fundraising or seeking sponsors.
The Bottom Line
One thing new coaches and parents really need to understand about KCTT and tournaments is that this isn't Little League...it's no mercy - "sweep the leg" kind of baseball. When you have pitching limits, it's in your best interest to finish games early (run rule your opponents).
It's "full baseball" rules with lead offs, stealing, dropped third strikes, and aggressive tactics. This is stuff that MUST be practiced over the winter or a team will get beat badly in the tournaments.
Tournament weekends are dedicated to baseball. If a team commits to a tournament, everyone needs to block that weekend off their schedule and allocate their full time to the tournament.
So, what do you get for the expense and time? The certainty is that you will purchase humility for the game of baseball. You'll participate with much higher competition, which will force everyone to "raise their game." And, hopefully, you'll get to learn a lot more about the game of baseball and the demands of playing a game at the higher levels.
(SPECIAL THANKS to Kele Evans who provided the content for this "What does it take?" article.)
Spring baseball with KCLL is great - but maybe you want MORE baseball! Sure, Little League is a great program, but maybe you want MORE competition!
Let me introduce you to our Ken-Caryl Tournament Teams (KCTT).
Where KCLL is a Little League program, charted as a Little League organization, plays by Little League rules, and supports Little League values; KCTT is an independent entity, run by the team manager, plays in tournaments and against opponents from around the state, and participates in tournaments run by a diverse set of organizations.
If you only intend on playing Little League baseball in the spring, our registration will open in November. You can just sit back and relax for a bit longer.
However, if you want MORE baseball than just KCLL, then registration for tryouts to join a KCTT roster is NOW OPEN! Click here to register for try outs. There is NO COST to try out.
KCTT rosters will be selected in October with the try-outs conducted October 19. KCTT is for players that ALSO want to play in tournaments and non Little League games. KCTT has extra cost and time requirements. Tournaments often require some travel time. There will be no cost to register for KCTT and you will only incur expenses if you are selected to join a KCTT roster. Each KCTT team is managed by the individual coach. Practice time, funding, and general organization are provided by the team and for the team.
By joining a KCTT roster, you will be signing up for practice time starting in November 2014, Sunday practices during the spring, other additional practices throughout the next 6 months, travel time to multiple tournaments, and somewhere between $300 and $1000 in additional expenses. You will RECEIVE significant additional instruction and practice time that includes all phases of the game, opportunities to compete with and against top talent baseball players of similar ages, and a deep immersion into the rigors of competitive baseball.
KCTT is NOT for everyone. Try outs are for players (and parents) that are willing to add a lot of baseball cost and time to their schedule. KCTT is an opportunity to advance your baseball skills, but will demand much from both player and parent.
We hope to have teams available for all ages between 8-13. We have some coaches and teams already lined up. However, we WILL NEED MORE COACHES. If you are interested in coaching, please submit a volunteer application by clicking here. Please also contact me directly by email or phone.
If you have any questions about our programs, please feel free to call, text, or email me.
Thank you for your support of Ken-Caryl Little League and for your interest and participation in Ken-Caryl Tournament Teams.
The KCLL Majors All-Stars lost a heartbreaker 11-10 to the Academy All-Stars on Sunday. Given the cruel twist of fate delivered by a world class Monsoon in Colorado Springs on Saturday, this game became the de facto championship round and it was worthy of the title. KCLL jumped out to an early lead that built to a 7-4 advantage half way through the contest. Academy battled back to take a 10-7 lead heading into the 6th inning. Your KCLL All-Stars dug deep within themselves to tie the game in the top half the inning only to see it slip away in the bottom half of the inning. Academy left the field victorious and headed to the State Tournament, but not without growing a healthy respect for the worthy competitors they narrowly escaped. KCLL was the only District Team to survive 6 innings against Academy, with all their other opponents losing by at least 10 runs each game. Were it not for the cruel inches between success and failure that define the essence of the game of baseball, the KCLL All-Stars may have been the ones headed to the State Tournament this weekend.
Your KCLL all-stars represented their league and community with class and dignity beyond their years.
The KCLL 9-10s lost a tough one against Cherry Creek (who went on to win the District title). In their next game (on July 15), the team lost a good game against Academy.
The KCLL Majors game against Academy was rained out. The game has been moved to Sunday at Mission Viejo Fields in Aurora and is set for a 10:00a start. Come out and support the team!! NOTE: The loser of this game will play at 12:30p against Cherry Creek. The championship bracket will be defined today!
The 9/10 KCLL All Star team took on High Plains Little League and captured a 13-3 win in four innings. Daniel Blatter and Drew Lawler pitched two innings each for the victory. The bats were working for the 9/10's with Carl Dixon hitting an RBI triple while Alex Leifheit hit a two RBI single to seal the victory. NEXT UP: Cherry Creek on Sunday at 3p at Mission Viejo field in Aurora.
Round 2 and the KCLL Majors move on to the semi-final round with a 13-3 win over Arapahoe. Breckin Holmberg hit a home run and Drew Lytle got a walk-off hit in the 4th as the team invoked the 10-run rule. Jared Sharpe and Breckin Holmberg again pitched 2 innings each to complete the win.
For the 10-11's, Academy worked their way to an 8-0 lead before KCLL scored three runs in the bottom of the 6th. It was a hard fought effort but KCLL came up short and was eliminated from the tournament. There was an outstanding play at second base by Thomas Hartman who turned an unassisted double play in the first inning and an inning ending diving catch in the third. Thomas was our Most Outstanding Player of the tournament given his great play in defense and also at the plate. All the boys played with courage. WELL DONE KCLL 10-11's!!!
On a wet July 7th, The KCLL Majors beat Dry Creek 15-0, ending the game in 4 innings. Everyone played great to achieve the full team effort victory! Joseph Bailey hit 2 home runs and Nathan Bailey added one of his own. On the mound, Breckin Holmberg and Jared Sharpe each pitched 2 innings for the combined shut out.
Up at the Arapahoe LL field, the 10-11 All Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning against the team from Colorado Springs. After surrendering 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, they fought back in 4th, taking a 5-3. However, the strong hitting Springs team scored 5 unanswered runs and took the game with a final score of 8-5. Carter Dart had an RBI single, while Mason Sauter had a two run triple. The team received great pitching from Carter Dart, Jake Gensemer and Zane Smith.
Ken-Caryl Little League wishes to give a big "Hum Babe!" shout out to the KC Tournament Teams. This past weekend KCTT entered 6 teams in the Luck O' Irish tournament across all divisions. This was KCTT's largest number of teams ever participating in tournament play. The 11AA KC Devils took second place as the top KCTT finish; but all the teams turned in impressive performances. You can read more about the KC Devils below.
GOLDEN, May 17, 2014 - The Ken Caryl Devils' 2014 tournament season got off to a strong start at the CABA Luck of the Irish tournament this past weekend. The Devils' bats were hot, scorching the competition for 52 runs en route to an undefeated record (3-0-1) through four pool games on Saturday and Sunday. Lights out hitting by Seth Beals, Jake Gensemer, and Thomas Hartman (batting .818, .778, and .724, respectively during pool play), helped fueled the team's success. Drew Lytle, Luke Schoon, and Cooper Stack also lit a fire at the plate—each hit .500+ for the tournament.
Game #1 vs the Raptors was never in doubt--a 20-4 blowout in 3 innings sparked by bats en fuego, plate patience (a perfect 1.0 OBP for Beals, Gensemer, Inez Gonzalez, Levi Schlomer, Schoon, and Stack), and flame throwing by the duo of Carter Dart and Lytle, who combined to surrender just 4 hits for the game. Game #2 vs. the Golden Grizzlies was a tug-of-war with Nick Garcia anchoring the Devils’ rope from the mound for two innings, then Gensemer, who closed the game out for a 10-6 victory. Game #3 vs the Rocky Mountain Colts was a nail-biter with some unusual twists—the game ended in a 9-9 tie (due to tournament time constraints), and the final run scored on a surprising and wacky steal of home. Game #4 was a 13-5 drubbing of the Sandlot Bees with Hartman and Beals taking turns on the mound for another 4 hitter, and with Stack, Brock Miller, Beals, Hartman, Gensemer, and Lytle all pounding out multiple hits.
The Devils came up short in the championship game on Sunday, but when the players were asked how they felt about their championship loss (a.k.a. runners-up achievement!), their KCLL character shone through. Their responses did not resonate with the frustration and agony of defeat—that game was already in the rear view mirror. The most common player comment after losing the championship game: "When do we play our next game?"
Fortunately, we were able to tell them all that KCLL opening day is right around the corner--April 5th!
From Left to Right: Levi Schlomer, Cooper Stack, Thomas Hartman, Seth Beals, Luke Schoon, Inez Gonzales, Jake Gensemer, Carter Dart, Brock Miller, Drew Lytle
Not pictured: Nick Garcia, Coach Thom Hartman, Coach Greg Garcia, Coach Dan Miller, Coach Russ Gensemer
Being a Little Leaguer is not easy. The science proves it. So the next time you feel like yelling out to your kid because he struck out or walked a batter with bases loaded, remember that it is harder to be a Little Leaguer than a Pro! Check this video out: