Kaneland varsity baseball coach Brian Aversa is spearheading the creation of the Kaneland Travel Baseball Program, with the goal of gathering kids from the Kaneland district to forge team unity that will extend all the way to high school.
“We wanted to streamline the process, create a feeder program,” Aversa said. “Geneva has one, St. Charles has one. ... All of our kids are so spread out, in Elburn or Wasco or Maple Park. It really hurts us.”
The program is holding tryouts for the inaugural teams in late July and early August, with the teams playing in the Kane County Bronco League starting next summer. For the first summer, there will be 11, 12 and 13U teams, and in 2014 the program will expand to the 10 and 14U levels.
The KCBL features teams from the area, such as Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, St. Charles and Wasco.
“We encourage any kids who will be in the Kaneland district to join the program,” Aversa said. “It’s tough to ask people to see the big picture and stop playing with people they’ve played with for years.”
Aversa won’t be coaching the teams but, along with the Kaneland baseball staff, will be the main evaluators of talent for the tryouts. This helps both the coaches and the players, the former becoming familiar with the athletes they will coach in a few years, while the players learn what they need to do to be successful as their careers continue.
Kaneland won the 3A state championship in 2011, and Aversa said a large portion of his team had played together since the a young age. With the new program in place, Aversa thinks more success will reach the high school team because of the unity players develop playing together at a young age.
“I think it’s important,” Aversa said. “We had six or seven starters playing together since.”