Story and photos by Tamas Mondovics
With its weeklong, in-league tournament and championship game-day fast approaching, batting was strong at the Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association (BYSA) baseball and softball complex.
Closing in on the 2017 spring season, hundreds of young players, guided by their coaches and watched closely by their parents are pushing through each game now more than ever.
The league itself is divided into eight baseball divisions including T-ball (ages 4-6), Rookie B (ages 6-7), Rookie A (age 8), Minor (age 9), Major 60 (ages 10-12), Major 70 (ages 11-12) Juniors (ages 13-15), and Senior (ages 16-18).
The organization is also proud of its talented young ladies who play in four 8-U to 16-U softball divisions.
BYSA is also hosting its Bambino Buddy Ball, a special needs program offered in the spring.
The teams play on eight fields located at 2215 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, working toward their final regular season game scheduled for Saturday, May 5, 2017, prior to the season-ending tourney.
For the past three seasons, BYSA has been operating as a Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth organization, joined by two other leagues, North Brandon and East Bay, that have also decided to switch their affiliation from Little League to play under the Cal Ripken logo.
The league is also making preparation for its annual summer baseball and softball camp, which will consist of four separate programs catered to four age groups.
Of course BYSA’s success could not be possible without its committed and willing volunteers.
“We appreciate our volunteers very much,” said BYSA board member Stacy Donahue, who has served on the Athletic Booster Club at Bloomingdale for the past four years and is the current president of the Cimino Elementary PTA and Bloomingdale High PTSA. Donahue is also the team mom for the girls lacrosse team at Bloomingdale.
To meet its mission, the league is currently seeking to fill some of its board positions, and is hosting a number of events, including its General Membership Annual meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 pm at the Bloomingdale Civic Center.
For more information about the Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association, visit www.bysafl.com.