WBA youth clinic set for May 31

In just a few short weeks, youngsters from the community and surrounding areas will converge on Lions Field in Waconia for the first ever Waconia Baseball Day and youth clinic.

Waconia Baseball Day on Saturday, May 31, (as proclaimed by the mayor at last week’s City Council meeting), is a fun-filled day of baseball in Waconia including a youth clinic in the morning, Lakers game at 2 p.m., Hall of Fame Induction in the early evening, and an Islanders game at 5:30 p.m.

The day is aimed at preserving and strengthening the baseball culture in Waconia, while also drumming up some interest and funds to construct the new grandstand at Lions Field.

With the building of the grandstand and improvement of Waconia baseball facilities, the Waconia Baseball Association hopes to one day be able to host a state tournament and put Waconia on the map as a place for baseball.

“Lions Field is beautiful,” WBA Board Member and Clinic Coordinator Mark Mernik said. “We’re striving for the total baseball experience for the fans, so we’re improving the overall arena including a grandstand with stadium seating.”

The fields that garner state tournaments and other large events offer the updated fields and amenities that the WBA is striving to bring to Lions Field, including a grandstand, updated concessions, restrooms with running water, and an entirely ADA complaint facility.

Registration is now open for the youth clinic, which will run on Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration forms and information can be found at www.waconiabaseball.com. Open to all youth players ages 5-12 regardless of gender, the clinic will feature Lakers players, WBA members, and a variety of present and former athletes who have played high level college baseball. Participants will be divided into age groups and will go through a variety of stations including hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning. The cost of the clinic is $20 per child or $50 per family. Unsure of whether your family might be in town that weekend? The WBA will also accept walk ons to the clinic, even if you can’t be there right at 9 a.m.

The WBA has never hosted a full youth clinic like this before, and is hoping to make it an annual event to continue to grow the baseball programs in Waconia, Mernik said. All clinic attendees get a t-shirt, lunch, and admission to the afternoon Lakers’ game, as Waconia faces off against Carver at 2 p.m. The community is invited to join the clinic participants for the Lakers game, followed by the Hall of Fame Induction, and the Islanders to wrap up a perfect day of baseball in Waconia.

“The goal is to get the community involved, and get the kids involved and teach them some things,” Mernik said. “We’ve got a great ball club at the varsity level this year and we want to continue to grow the program.”

For more information on the clinic, visit www.waconiabaseball.com, call Tim Hukriede at (952) 406-1662 or e-mail him at jonesy@locherbros.com.

Contact Melissa Marohl at melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

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