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Wasco Travel Baseball Program Overview

ABOUT THE WASCO TRAVEL PROGRAM

Wasco Travel Baseball has been part of the Northern Illinois baseball scene for over 30 years and we are proud of delivering against our mission of cultivating a developmental, competitive, and positive experience for the players, coaches, and families connected to our program.  

We are an elite program seeking to develop quality young people.  We field travel teams from 9u thru 14u that represent Wasco Baseball all over the country with pride, determination, and good sportsmanship.  Our 12u teams compete in the most competitive tournament at Dreams Park in Cooperstown, NY (home of the baseball hall of fame). Wasco Baseball has been the start of many players on the rosters of area high schools such as Bartlett, Batavia, Burlington Central, Dekalb, Elgin Academy, Geneva, Kaneland, Marmion, West Aurora, South Elgin, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Sycamore, and more.

2022 Tournament Championships: 6

             Tournament Runner Ups: 11

2021 Tournament Championships: 21

2020 Tournament Championships: 14

 

2023 UPDATE

In 2023 we are continuing our player development approach for all playing levels by partnering with professional trainers while maintaining our “DNA” of being a community-based organization.  While we continue to be fortunate to attract quality coaching for our travel teams, inserting professional instruction during the winter significantly adds to the experience of being a member of the Wasco Travel Baseball team.

For the 13u-14u levels, we will partner with Top Pick Athletics to provide the on-the-field coaching and the professional instruction.  After 12u, the focus for many players and parents shifts to preparing for high school baseball.  Historically, we have partnered with different organizations for the 13u-14u levels and the 2023 co-branded partnership with Top Pick Athletics allows us to continue the relationship we started with them in 2020.

Winter 2023 Wasco Travel Instructors

Bill Angelo-Head Coach at Elgin Community College

Ralph Riske-Hitting Coach at Elgin Community College

Tim Tarter-former All American at Grand Valley State and current assistant coach at Marmion Academy

Josh Latimer-former NCAA D1 player and current head coach at Dekalb High School

Jason Sullivan-former All State player at St Francis College Prep in Wheaton and 4 year starting 2B at Central Michigan University

Joe Nemetz-30+ year HS educator and coach and a current coach at St Charles North HS

Tyler Nunez-former college player at Elgin Community College and Augustana College

Austin Lovelady-former college player at Elgin Community College

DESIGN

Winter Development

  • Starting in January, players 9u-14u will participate in weekly development activities through March led by professional coaches, with the travel coaches in attendance to learn and understand the drills.

  • Small and combined-aged group practices will span January and February where similar aged groups will combine for hitting, pitching, fielding, catching, and baserunning training.

  • Multi-activity players will benefit by signing up for date and time slots during the week which best fits their schedule for these training sessions.

  • Drills will focus on fundamentals for players, and attendance on a regular basis will aid in that development.  Repetition is the key for many of the movement patterns in baseball.

  • Starting in March, team practices will commence to continue player development and build team camaraderie for the upcoming season.

Spring/Summer Competition

  • Teams will play a 30-50 game season by participating in local leagues and tournaments

  • Between 5-8 tournaments will be part of the experience

  • Full-team and small group practices will continue throughout the spring and summer

2023 Travel Tryouts

Tryout dates for the 2023 Travel Season can be found below

CLICK THE BLUE BAR TO REGISTER FOR TRYOUTS!

2023 Wasco Baseball Travel Coaches

FAQs

What makes the Wasco Travel Baseball program different than other organizations in the Fox Valley Area?

The feedback we hear from our members is the importance of development for their players, so we look at other programs in the area and adapt our model to help us meet the goals of our program. Below are a few highlights on how our program is designed: 

  1. Professional Instruction integrated with our Community-Based Model

  2. Pool our training resources during the winter

  3. Build schedule flexibility to accommodate multi-sport/activity athletes

How does the Professional Instructor model work?

During the winter, we partner with skilled instructors around hitting, infield, outfield, catching, baserunning, and pitching.  These instructors will partner with the player and coach by leading team drills and developing individualized plans.

How does pooling of the training resources work?

We combine age groups for some of the skill workshops (e.g. infield, catching, outfield, etc.) since much of the same drills can apply to multiple ages.  This model provides the ability to leverage time and money spent on quality instructors and space.

Can you Describe the schedule flexibility component?

Historically, teams would schedule a practice which might conflict with multiple-sport players’ schedules.  We want to encourage our players to participate in other sports and activities while giving them the ability to develop their baseball skills.  Multiple sessions during the week will be provided where the player can choose the best schedule option for them.  We do not expect Wasco baseball to be the top priority in the Winter, but it should be a priority. 

WhAT ROLES DO PARENT-COACHES PLAY IN THIS MODEL?

Wasco has always relied upon qualified volunteerism to provide travel coaching and development.  This has served us well and it will continue for the 9u-12u level.  However, the professional instructor’s involvement in the Winter training makes our players better as well as our coaches.  

Will there be team practices?

Yes.  Starting in March each team will practice minimally once a week to complement the position specific skill workshops during the week.  In some cases, we may combine teams of a similar age during these practice sessions.

What does the off-season program look like?

There are three key features of our off-season program:

  1. Position Specific Instruction--players will receive dedicated instruction on advancing position specific skills during their team practices and position specific workshops.

  2. Small Group Hitting--at least once a week, there will be a 3:1 player to instructor ratio providing training and mechanics and quality repetitions.

  3. Progressive Bullpens--pitchers will follow a progressive plan to build arm strength to prepare for increased pitch counts at the start of the season.

  4. Physical and Mental Health--players and families will be invited to Wasco Baseball sponsored special events designed to help players care for their bodies and minds.  

​What does the position specific instruction look like?

Every week beginning in January, there will be a practice with a specific focus on skills for catchers, infielders, and outfielders. Only players who play a particular position need to attend the workshop. Players will have the ability to attend more than one position session and will work with their coaches to figure out the details.

How will my player get individualized development?

The team coach will have the responsibility to identify, track, and partner with the instructors to ensure individualized development occurs.  Of course, players and families are encouraged to utilize the services of the instructors outside of the program. 

Who are the instructors?

Wasco Baseball has a lot of strong connections and we have gained commitments from former collegiate players and proven instructors familiar with training the different age groups.  

How many tournaments will we play?

Teams will play in between 5-8 tournaments with the older ages playing in more than the younger aged teams.  Coaches and families will be responsible for identifying the tournaments which best fit their team.  Early in the season, we may host intra-squad games and local scrimmages to get game competitive reps before the season starts.  

Will the teams play in a local league?

Coaches will determine whether they will participate in an established league (e.g. KCBL, WSBL) or a customized league based on their discretion.  ​

​How many TRAVEL TEAMS DOES WASCO BASEBALL SPONSOR?

The number of teams we sponsor is determined by level of talent, as all teams will be expected to prepare for a very competitive schedule.  Typically, we sponsor one team at 9u, two teams at 10u-12u, and one team at 13u and 14u.

​How many players per roster?

The team head coach will determine a roster size of 11-12 players.  ​

How much does the Program cost?

For the 9u-11u teams, the player season cost will range from about $1,300 to $1,600 based on age and excludes uniform costs.  Our 12u teams participate in the Cooperstown Dreams Park experience, so their team costs will be higher.  For the 13u-14u level, Top Pick Athletics is responsible for establishing the player season costs.


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Brian Kane

Brian Kane

Travel Director

Phone: 630-870-6024


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