Friday, January 31, 2014

A Letter from the President of Southern

Hello to All Southern Little League Members Past and Present,

I am writing to give you an update on many topics for the upcoming season. Before I get in to this season I would like to share with you that the East, West and Junior/Senior fields all underwent renovation of their infields last Fall. We will post photos here after this weekend’s Leadoff Party. We are working toward three additional improvements for the spring. Improved scoring decks with covered roofs and fenced in area on both East and West fields. Thanks to the Gene Missad Foundation the money for the West/Gene A. Missad field has already been raised. The Junior/Senior Henwood field is in desperate need of a new scoreboard. The East field project and Henwood scoreboard projects will cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete. You have all received many blasts about The Southern Little League Leadoff Party and perhaps you are even annoyed at the blasts however this is a fundraiser that hopefully will allow the League to do these much needed improvements. Please scroll down to the next article and sign up to join in the Leadoff Party tomorrow night. Don’t let a little snow deter you. It’s not only a fundraiser it’s also a great place to meet past and present members of SLL.

You can sign up now for the 2014 Baseball and Softball season at Southern. The link is on our website up along the right side. You will see our first email blast about signups next week. A new Little League rule for this year changes the boundary rule of the past “You must live within the printed boundary of the league or attend school in that league’s boundaries.” The highlighted area is the change and is a much needed improvement so we don’t have to struggle to get waivers any longer.

Southern Little League needs a volunteer director for our softball program. It is a must that we have families volunteer or we simply can’t operate. Contact me at to discuss the responsibilities.

Southern Little League was awarded the honor of hosting the 9/10 year old State Baseball Championships and the Senior League State Championships for 2014. These tournaments only come around once every 16 years for each age group and we were also selected from all of the leagues in District 9. We will give you much more information on both of these tournaments to be run the end of July. Please consider volunteering to help us run the best State Tournaments ever.

We look forward to seeing all of you soon. Below are some of the many important dates for the 2014 season. Hope you all come to the Leadoff Party Saturday.
  • Signups – Now thru March 15
  • Tryouts – March 29th at EGR High School Gymnasium
  • Cleanup Day – April 19th at Southern
  • Kickoff Meeting – April 23rd at EGR Middle Cafeteria (mandatory for all coaches and team parents)
  • Opening Day – April 24
  • Family Day – June 7th
Best Regards,
Bob Hams
President, Southern Little League

Come On Out Saturday Night!

Live music, Hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and a great list of silent auction items. Come out and support Southern Little League! The fun starts at 7pm.
You can read all the details here.
Please buy your tickets now!!
You can pay by credit card or PayPal. (No PayPal account is required.)
Or pay at the door on Saturday night.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Please Buy Your Tickets Now

We are only days away from the third annual event!

Just in case you need another reason to attend, here are a few of the auction items:
Special Items:
  • Hockey Winter Classic Cap with signatures. Yes, all the big names.
  • Signed memorabilia from baseball and hockey greats!
Sporting Events:
  • SEC Football- SC vs. Texas A&M including airfare, two nights lodging, and a back scenes tour
  • Huntington Club Suite tickets for MSU Football with stadium side parking Detroit Tiger infield box seats and one night lodging at a downtown Detroit hotel
  • Tickets to U of M Football, Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons and GR Griffins
We are just over a week away now! You can read all the details here.
Please reserve your tickets now!!
You can pay by credit card or PayPal. No PayPal account is required.

Or pay at the door on Saturday night.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Leadoff Party

Annual Fundraiser for Southern Little League

An Evening of Food and Fun!

Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Applause Event Center | 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM
2728 Birchcrest Dr SE (behind Pietro’s)

Auctions Supporting our Scholarship Fund and Facility Renovations
Cash Bar and Hors d’oeuvres
$60 per couple / $35 per person
Age 21 and over please

Please buy your tickets in advance here. You can pay by credit card or PayPal.
No PayPal account is required.

Or send checks payable to:
Southern Little League
1530 Groton Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Please extend this invitation to all alumni, parents and grandparents of past, present and future Southern Little League players.

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Tryout Schedule


First off, keep in mind that the term "tryout" here is a bit of a misnomer. It's actually more of an evaluation to help determine the appropriate league for each child. No one is omitted from participation based on this evaluation. We use the term "tryout" regardless, so bear with us.

To determine your child's official Little League Age, use their online age calculator here. Please use ONLY this official Little League age when considering which tryout session to attend.

All of the time slots listed below are for baseball only. There will not be a softball tryout session this year.

Please notice that only kids in certain situations need to come to tryouts. Read the conditions below carefully. If you find that your child does not fit into any of these situations, then there's no need to come to tryouts. Get it? If you're still not sure, you can contact the director.

Here is the schedule for tryouts:
  • Date: Saturday, March 29th
  • Location: East Grand Rapids High School Gym.
  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time slot.
  • These times are subject to change. We will announce all changes on the website and email all subscribers. Sign up for email notification here.
  • 9:00am-10:00am: all 9 yr olds (baseball). No 8 yr olds will be allowed to play in the minors.
  • 10:30am-11:30am: all 10 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the majors last year and who wish to try out for majors this year. Also, any 10 yr olds (baseball) who are new to Southern this year must attend at this time. (For 10-yr-olds who were in minors last year and want to play in minors again this year, you do not need to attend the tryout.)
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: all 11 and 12 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the majors last year
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm: all 13 and 14 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the juniors last year
  • 2:30pm-3:00pm: umpire sign-up and meeting
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you know your child will not be able to attend, please contact the director.

Sign Up In Person for the 2014 Season

You can sign up in person for the 2014 season. This is for folks who do not want to use a credit card to register online. If you'd rather pay by cash or check, come to the in-person sign-up sessions where we'll be able to accept your payment and provide you with access to a laptop so you can fill out the rest of the registration information online. There are no paper sign-ups this year.

The in-person sign-ups will take place at Breton Village Mall. The sign-up table will be located near the fireplace inside the mall.
  • Where: Breton Village Mall
  • When:
    • Monday, March 3, 6-7:30pm
    • Monday, March 10th, 6-7:30pm
    • Saturday, March 15th, 10am-noon
  • A parent or legal guardian must be present at sign-up.
  • The child need not be present.
  • We do not need to see birth certificates.
  • Cost is $150, payable by check, cash, or credit card. ($100 for softball.)
  • You cannot sign up by mail.

Sign Up Online for the 2014 Season

  • DEADLINE IS MARCH 21! (Deadline for Seniors is May 16.) Online sign-up will close after the deadline.
  • The cost is $150. ($100 for softball.) After the deadline, the cost increases to $175.
  • You can sign up and pay online by clicking here.
  • Please note: The online sign-up is hosted by a third party ( There have been reports of high volume on their site. Please keep trying. There is nothing the Southern webmaster can do about this.
  • We have heard from several folks that they are having difficulty receiving confirmation emails from the sign-up provider. Please check your spam folder for these confirmations. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • There is no additional fee for online sign-up. The cost is the same as in-person sign-up.
  • We no longer need to see birth certificates.

Board of Directors

Concussion Awareness Certification List

These are the coaches who have completed the concussion awareness training and have emailed their certificate to

(alphabetized by last name)
Adams, Doug: 3/11/2014
Apol, James: 4/12/2014
Bayer, Tim: 3/10/2014
Beale, Tim: 3/25/2014
Bertke, Matt: 1/7/2014
Bernecker, Scott: 7/8/2018
Billo, Jamie: 4/15/2014
Bishop, Mike: 3/10/2014
Blakley, Michael: 5/7/2014
Brandstadt, Todd: 4/9/2014
Burns, Kevin: 3/10/2014
Burrows, Brian: 5/26/2014
Butler, Dev: 4/16/2014
Caswell, Chris: 3/24/2014
Cavanaugh, Matt: 4/1/2015
Clark, Matthew: 4/20/2018
Collins, JD: 4/25/2014
Conway, Jack: 9/5/2013
Dann, Tom: 4/12/2015
Deblecourt, Ed: 4/15/2014
Doezema: Kip: 5/5/2016
Dugan, Larry: 4/25/2014
Dwortz, Rob: 4/24/2015
Ekkens, Dave: 3/31/2016
Elble, Jeff: 3/11/2014
Ferguson, Robert: 4/26/2014
Force, Mick: 4/13/2014
Fouch, Matt: 4/18/2014
Fox, Christopher: 4/17/2014
Fredrickson, Todd: 5/3/2016 
Gelderloos, Dan: 4/15/2014
Gifford, Jeremy: 4/25/2014
Green, Stuart: 5/3/2016
Groen, Dan: 3/28/2014
Haan, Phillip: 4/22/2018
Hall, Scott: 3/10/2014
Henkey, Rob: 3/12/2014
Hildebrand, Kim: 4/28/2014
Hoppman, Jeff: 4/25/2014
Hoogerwerff, Michael: 3/20/2014
Jacobsen, Roger: 3/20/2014
Jazwinski, Jeff: 3/25/2014
Kakaty, Jay: 4/19/2018
Kehr, Jason: 5/3/2016
Kirk, Brad: 3/19/2014
Klop, Aaron: 4/27/2016
Koetje, Nathan: 3/31/2014
Kolk, Tim: 3/4/2014
Koster, Chad: 4/26/2014
Knuble, Mike: 4/21/2014
Kreisman, Brian: 3/9/2014
Kuzner, Tom: 4/14/2014
Lachman, Blair: 3/21/2017
Lamange, Chris: 4/22/2014
Lauria, Mike: 4/17/2014
Ledesma, Chris: 4/1/2015
Lee, Chris: 3/25/2014
Leistra, Phil: 4/26/2014
Luciani, Kevin: 4/15/2014
Lundeen, Erik: 4/21/2014
Maher, Matt: 4/16/2014
Malewitz, Bernie: 3/28/2014
McIntosh, Matt: 4/1/2014
McIntyre, Todd: 4/23/2014
Meinert, Jeff: 4/18/2018
Millman, Steve: 4/14/2014
Moore, Jerry: 2/18/2014
Murray, Rob: 3/7/2014
O'Connor, Eric: 3/24/2014
O'Connor, Patrick: 4/22/2014
Passinault, Joel: 4/1/2014
Pohlman, Tom: 4/26/2014
Raymond, Michael: 4/15/2014
Rohen, Ethan: 3/18/2014
Rosmarin, Chris: 4/24/2015
Sage, Travis: 4/19/2018
Scholten, Michael: 3/29/2016
Scofield, Thomas: 4/13/2014
Seth, Steve: 4/22/2014
Shelton, John: 3/10/2014
Southerington, Steve: 3/6/2014
Sprague, Rick: 5/1/2014
Sova, Greg: 3/25/2014
Stadel, Nick: 4/17/2017
Starck, Eric: 4/21/2014
Stotts, Kevin: 4/17/2017
Stuursma, Peter: 4/21/2014
Sullivan, Tim; 4/28/2014
Tocco, Mike: 4/13/2017
Tucker, Toby: 4/14/2014
Turner, Brett: 4/15/2014
Vance, Simon: 4/19/2018
VandenBerge, Jim: 5/22/2014
VanderLei, Andrew: 4/25/2014
VanderMolen, David: 4/1/2014
VanGessel, John: 4/3/2014
Vriesenga, Matt: 4/21/2014
Walters, Mark: 4/21/2014
Weiss, Jim: 7/6/2018
Westerbeke, Bill: 2/24/2014
White, Mark: 4/2/2014
Winkle, Mark: 3/10/2014
Zezima, Craig: 3/8/2014
Zimdar, Kyle: 3/5/2014

Concussion Awareness Training Certification

This training is mandated by the state of Michigan. All coaches and assistant coaches must take the concussion training video. It is a review of what signs to look for if an incident occurs.

Please understand that you may not coach until you are certified.

You do not need to complete this certification every year.

If you have already been certified via the State of Michigan thru a different organization, you can skip step 1 below and simply email your certificate to us.

Not sure if you're certified? Check our list of certified coaches here.

Here are the steps you must follow to become certified. You must complete ALL steps.
  1. Watch the video. Click here to be taken to their website to watch the 25-minute video.
  2. Once you finish watching the video, you must email your certificate to If your name does not show on the certificate, send it anyway. If you are unable to download and email the certificate, take a photo of it with your phone and email the photo. Those of you hopelessly stuck in the 1980's may print and fax your certificate to 616-794-0925.
  3. Within 72 hours, we will email you and let you know that we received your certificate. If you don't receive an email back within 72 hours, please contact us again.