Friday, January 31, 2014


Hey yall, Our spring 2014 season is coming up fast and I could not be more excited . I know its hard to think of baseball when our local basketball is going on and also snow and ice is on the ground but IT IS HERE !!!

As Shelby and I and the rest of our crew prepares for this season we cant help but look back on how much we have grown in such a short period of time . From an vision to a horse pasture to an incredible attendance and also our following nationwide and further . AS ALWAYS IT ALL GOES TO GOD !!!

The off season has been filled with the usual ups and downs but it has seemed that with every hurdle God gives us tremendous strength to leap far and above and our prayers are to continue that strength cause its AWESOME . Yes AWESOME - for those who are already Sandlotters yall know that I use this word so much and will continue to cause its AWESOME what God has done in my life and allowed me to be a part of . 

There are so many things that we are hoping to accomplish this year and I want to share some of those with you know .

First - Sandlot 2014 . I remember after the first season being so worried about who would return and how many new families would join us and after some deep prayer in my truck driving down the road ( best time for me to think and pray ) I came to the conclusion that if we have 20 players or 200 we would coach and reach the same way. Once I felt that peace it allowed me to " rock On " and its been - yes you guessed it  - AWESOME !!!
Last fall we wanted to see how Kid Pitch and Kid Catching would go and I could not have been more proud of our athletes along with the support of our families . It went great and I am happy to announce we will be continuing that this season . The Kid Pitch / Catch is for our older division only and for those interested we will be starting practice a week early for these athletes only . More of that to be included in an email to those who register before February 29th.

We have had a bunch of requests for Girls Softball and if we have show interest in that ( again for our older athletes ) we will be including Softball this season . If we do not have enough to field at least two teams then we will be bringing in coaches to work with our female ball players during the week to go over softball . We have had four women who have a vast knowledge of softball commit to doing what ever we need to progress that program and Shelby and I cant thank them enough . As always it is going to take getting the word out to everyone about this new division and we will coach and progress as the demand requires . We also are not requiring females to play softball , if they want to continue to play baseball - awesome.
If you sign your female athlete up to play please go ahead and sign up as baseball and in the request box mention softball and we will email yall once we have a final number to see which way we are going to go .

As always , we are going to be out at the fields once we get some nice days and get everything prepared - ALL VOLUNTEERS are welcome and we will be emailing dates once this weather changes ( hopefully soon - cause im ready to work . )

Skills and practice facilities  - I am working on getting two batting cages and also two to three practice pitching mounds built so that we can work more athletes at a time during the season and also if we do anything during the summer ( in the works ).
I am also working on two batting centers for the tee ball and modified tee ballers to strengthen their hitting abilities .
If there is anything else that yall would like to see out at sandlot please email me as soon as you can.

Coaches  / Volunteer and Parent meeting  -  I am scheduling a date and time for all of us to meet to go over even more of what we are going to do this season and also to hear yalls ideas and suggestions of what yall want to do . Please watch for an email very soon along with an updated post here on our web site.

Wanting to see how you can help or donate - In the off season we FINALLY received our 501(3)c status and a Huge thanks to Rick and Patrice Reaves for everything they both have done to make this happen . I cannot tell yall how many hours these two have put into all of the paperwork and research it took to make this happen . 
We have a donate button on our web page and you can specify under three tabs where you want us to use your donation . 
My original vision was to find 100 sponsors at $1,000.00 a year and ask everyone in the Triad to donate $1 . thats it $1.00 . The sponsorships would take care of our day to day expenses along with taking care of the property at Sandlot and anything else realated to THE ONE PROJECT .
$1.00 donations or anything more per person will be used for immediate response to our community. This was the hardest for us to try and define because it is a response with no end and what I mean by that is it can be for anything that has to do with assisting families in our community  - food, clothing, fixing homes , disaster relief, counseling , automotive repair etc. 
Another example is something I wanted to do a couple of years ago and can still do . I saw a tv report about elderly folks in lower class homes who had no air conditioning . With The One Project we can go to any hardware store and purchase window units and install in these folks homes and assist them with their energy bill during the summer - IMMEDIATELY .
This is just one of many ideas we have for our community .
Please take sometime and pray about our cause and if you find it in your heart DONATE.
Donations are not only money - we have already had a van donated and given to a very much deserving family from Sandlot , we have had appliances donated that found their way to deserving families. The majority of our baseball equipment and supplies have been donated along with equipment to build our field and also maintain them.

The ONE PROJECT PONTOON - We have been blessed with a donation from a Sandlot Aunt and long time friend of ours of a 18 foot pontoon boat . We are going to be rebuilding this boat in the next months so that we can take young people with illnesses and their families out for a free day on the lake ( swimming, fishing, tubing and having a blast ). We will also be taking our Sandlotters out for wildlife education and boating safety classes 1/2 day and then fun day the other 1/2 . We already have local wildlife officers who have volunteered to work with our youth and we are proud to have them aboard . If you find yourself interested in this project please let us know and we will be posting a wish list for what we need soon . 
I have spent just about my entire life on the water , from living in Wales and Bermuda to here in North Carolina and there are so many wonderful memories on the water I have from my childhood and now with my own family that we want to share this with others . 

Buddy Benches - many of yall on facebook have seen the story of a young boy who built a buddy bench so someone at school who felt left out could sit on and others would join him or her . This story has touched my heart since I was once one of those kids and now we are going to do something about it . I want to first thank my good buddy Mike Weddle of Weddle Construction ( the same guy who built our snack shack in his fathers car port and delivered it to us ) for his volunteering to help build these benches . Mike's christian values are an essential part of who he is as a husband, father , builder and friend and we are again blessed to have him as a part of The One Project . We will be talking with local hardware stores and lumber yards for supplies and then to all of the local elementary schools in the area to see where we can place these benches . Anyone is welcome young and old to assist in this and we look forward to hearing from yall. If you know of a school or location you would like to see one of these benches please contact us and we will see what we can do to make it happen . PS - Steve Quinn - another awesome carpenter and sandlot member - this is your heads up - lol .

Thanks to all of yall who have prayed for our mission and please keep them coming. As much as we hear the horror stories about technology sometimes its great to know how far out in the world The One Project is known ( especially with our military personel abroad ). Please feel free to come out this season to The Sandlot and experience what Shelby and I along with many other families are blessed to be a part of .

Love to all and Lets Play Ball,

Coach Mike

Oh yeah - we also want to start a tutoring program for our athletes this season so if there are any of you who want to assist in this please let me know . You do not have to be a certified teacher to sit down with a young person and help . You might be surprised who teaches who in the end I know from every season I learn so much more from our youth and families then I could ever COACH.