BH News and Updates (July 2016)

(1) NEW Facemask Policy – Per an executive order sent to coaches during the Memorial Day weekend and further discussion at the recent board meeting, all players within the BH Organization must abide by the following in regards to wearing facemasks:

  • Corner Infielders (1st/3rd) and Pitchers must wear a facemask at all times (even during practices)
  • Middle Infielders must either wear a facemask and/or protective mouth guard (even during practices)

The primary goal with putting this policy in place is to protect our girls. The BH Handbook will be updated to include this same information for the start of the 2016 – 2017 season. In the meantime, it is expected that both players and coaches respect and abide by this policy. Thank you!

(2) Annual Dues Increase – Due to rising costs in tournament fees, team insurance and our indoor practice budget, the board would like to inform families in advance that there will be an increase in annual dues next season. While the exact amount is yet to be finalized, please note that this increase will be kept at a minimum. Because we are a non-profit organization, we have done our best to maintain our annual dues at the same rate (they have not increase in the last several years), but forecasting our future budgets over the next few years requires this increase to occur. The BH Organization still remains the most cost effective, highly competitive travel fast pitch organization within our area.

(3) BH Tryouts – As our organization grows, as players transition to the next level and as we lose several players this season on our 18u teams, the board discussed scheduling tryouts and the formation of teams for the 2016 – 2017 season. Part of the discussion among the board was… How do we continue to build/maintain highly competitive teams at all age levels and build the best teams? We all know that winning feels GREAT! From the outside, parents looking for a competitive travel fast pitch organization primarily look at those who boast winning records and championships. As a result of this discussion, it was decided that ALL current players MUST also participate in our tryout sessions this season. The BH Organization is going back to its tradition of having all players tryout each season to determine team assignments.

Please stay tuned for tryout dates and times in the coming weeks. If a current player is not able to attend the tryout dates, the player and/or parent(s) will need to discuss conflict with their current coach or contact Howie Merriman. Private tryouts will be offered again this season.

(4) Player Appreciation Party – This year’s Player Appreciation Party has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday, August 21st. We will be hosting a family-style picnic at John Rudy Park. Additional information will be shared with all families once the final details (food; time; activities) is finalized.

(5) BH Mailing Address – Please be advised that our mailing address has changed (see website). The board decided that since many individuals are making payments via our PayPal feature, maintaining a PO Box was not cost effective.

(6) NEW Treasurer for the Fall 2016 – The BH Organization would like to THANK Missy Werner for her service as the treasurer since the very start of this organization nearly 10 years ago. Missy has volunteered countless hours of her time in maintaining our financials, sending out dues statements, paying tournament directors, etc… She has decided to end her tenure with the BH Organization, but she will still remain a forever fan and will continue to be involved in the Organization. We wish her all the best!!

With that being said, the BH Board voted unanimously to elect Deanna Ashenfelter (a current 12u parent) as BH Treasurer. Deanna joins the BH Board with several years of accounting expertise. Deanna will shadow and meet with Missy during the next few months to make this transition happen has smoothly as possible. She will make her final transition into this position at the start of the 2016 – 2017 season.

(7) Current Board Vacancies — We are currently looking for individuals to fill the following BH Board positions for the 2016 – 2017 season. Individuals interested in these positions can contact Howie Merriman ( and/or complete the online board member application and role descriptions can be found on the website.

  • BH Director of Sales/Apparel
  • BH Treasurer
  • BH Camps/Clinics Coordinator

(8) PowerTrain – Many of our teams participated in a free session or two with PowerTrain during the off season. If your player is interested, they are still offering a BH discounted rate.

(9) Facebook and Website Updates/News – With our older players creating skills videos and maintaining profile pages for college recruiting, please contact Kris Gartrell ( directly with any updates and/or news that you would like shared on our Facebook and/or website. Of course, you can still send this information to your coaches to be forwarded, but it would save a little bit of time just to email her directly.

BH News and Updates (January 2015)

(1) New Practice ShirtsAn executive decision was made by Howie Merriman (BH President) to order practice t-shirts to be worn by all players. This decision was based on a research-study finding out of Penn State. Basically, the outcome of the study proves that teams who look "uniformed" and "top notch" even while at practice perform at significantly higher levels than those teams who are not. Once ordered, teams will be expected to wear these shirts to team practices. More info on ordering and purchasing additional shirts (for those interested) is forthcoming within the week.
(2) Jersey Update — The new, white jerseys are in, but still need to be screen printed by Elliott Productions. However, the board also discussed the ordering of a red jersey for this season. An approximate price point for each will be $45. Parents will need to make payment for the jersey(s) in the coming weeks.
Please note…all jerseys (Mizuno black, red and gray Sport 55) will be phased out at the start of the 2016 season. We will see how these new jerseys hold up this spring/summer to determine what the organization will do with ordering jerseys for next season.
(3) BH Pitching/Hitting Clinics — The organization will be offering both pitching (with Deana Benner) and hitting clinics for our girls in March at Backyard University. More info will come in the next few weeks as final dates/times are secured with Backyard University and Bridgeway Church. In addition, the BHs will again offer a FREE clinic to players outside of our organization in April. Info will be posted both on the BH website and Facebook.
(4) Joe Corbi's Fundraiser — Coaches/teams have received the ordering packets for our current fundraising event. It was decided at the board meeting that funds raised will stay with each individual team (as opposed to being applied to each player's dues). The use of these team funds will be up  to the discretion of each coach. Receipts and/or invoices need to be provided to Missy Werner for payment and/or reimbursement.
(5) Bull Roast — All teams/players will be receiving 6 Bull Roast tickets in the coming week. Please remember…the first TWO tickets included in each envelope are those that are structured into player dues. Do your best to sell the extras included. Players/families need to access the Bull Roast link on the website to provide an accurate head count and to pay for additional tickets purchased via PayPal.
In addition, information in regards to requesting for volunteers at the Bull Roast will be sent to teams in the coming week. We will be using an on-line signup form. Information and link will also be posted on the website and Facebook.
Each team is also responsible for putting together a raffle basket for the Bull Roast (value of at least $100). Team Moms should take care of organizing this among their teams. Please contact Linda Merriman ASAP to let her know what type of basket each team will include in this year's raffle.
(6) Outstanding Dues Balances — Outstanding player dues must be taken care of immediately. Please be advised that until a payment is made or arrangements for a structured payment are made with Missy Werner (BH Treasurer), these players are not to practice with the team. Our organization needs these funds to pay for tournaments and equipment for the teams. If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact Missy Werner at
(7) Facebook — The feedback and initial following on our Facebook page has been great! However, the organization would like to ensure that all of our teams are equally represented with posts because GREAT things are happening with all teams. The organization is looking for one Team Mom or individual from each team to post team events/news to our Facebook page. This person needs to already have a Facebook account. Please contact Kris Gartrell at

March 2013


Watley Clinic

We had 68 participants. The clinic lost about $300 from last minute refunds due to illness of participants but this was still an outstanding event. Natasha thought that our accommodations and facilities were top notch. She would love to come back in the future. We apologize for cutting the clinic a little short but we had little to no choice given her flight arrangements. Next year, we will negotiate a longer stay.


Field Maintenance|Coaches Reminder|Practices-

Maintenance Day at Crist Field will be Saturday, March 23 at 9:00.  Please do what you can to help. Even though your team may not practice at Crist as part of your regular schedule, other teams being there allow you to be on the field to which you are scheduled.

If any of you have any equipment (4 wheelers, tractors, tractors with front end loaders, etc.) that you can bring to help reduce the amount of manual labor it is much appreciated.


Bull Roast-

Attendance was up about 10% this year and the average person spent $20. Last year the average person spent $30 resulting in lower profits this year but still made approximately 6k. Thank all involved for helping.


Free Skills Clinic

Our annual Skills Clinic will be held on Saturday, May 11th at Crist Fields.  The clinic is free to the York County League.  No BH’s may register but we may ask players to help. Max 40 Participants.



All dues should be paid or individuals should be on a payment plan that has been approved by the Treasurer and the Board.  Failure to have dues paid current may result in players being prohibited from participating in team and organizational activities including practices and tournaments.


Picture Day-

Saturday March 23rd at Crist Fields for 10 and 12u teams.  If an older team is available you may take your pictures on this day.



We are adding a new feature on our website, E-tickets for future events. Estimated cost is $300 which is cheap b/c the most of the code is being written in house.



Our position remains the same, we do not run fundraisers outside Joe Corbi’s, Bull Roast and Crab Feast. If a team decided to do a fundraiser, it is independent of the Ball Hawk Organization. Past polls show that the majority of people prefer to pay a little more money than participate in a fundraiser.


Please visit our website frequently to learn of new updates, the results of our tournaments, etc.  Go Ball Hawks!!

July 2012

 A year in review

Third Annual YCJGSL Clinic – The free clinic hosted by the Ball Hawks took place on April 28.  Over 50 girls attended at the age groups 10U through 14U.  The event filled within two weeks of posting without advertisement outside of our website (which is averaging about one thousand hits per month).  We were impressed with the talent of the girls who attended.  

Diamond Queens Tournaments – Crist Fields – Our first Diamond Queens (USSSA) tournament took place on May 5-6.  This was a 10U only event, as 12U did not have enough teams to be able to hold a tournament.  We had a total of 6 10U teams.  Our 14u tournament on May 19-20 attracted 12 teams.  The profit generated was distributed equally between the 3 14u teams.  A special thanks to Mark Jones and Tony Beam who went above and beyond to make this an awesome event.

Bull Roast – Our Bull Roast was held on March 17th and we are pleased to announce that we had a record attendance.  The proceeds from the Bull Roast have yet to be allocated by the board.  We are looking at ways to best improve the organization through things such as field acquisition, indoor facility upgrades, additional tournaments, a better player appreciation picnic, etc.  A special thanks to Sheri Eckenrode for making the event a success.  Also thank you to all who participated in the event and especially those who volunteered their time to help. 

Board Membership – Sheri Eckenrode’s term as secretary and event coordinator will expire in August. The Board has selected Dana Glover as our new secretary and event coordinator.

Player Appreciation Party Our annual player appreciation party will take place at Lincoln Way Pool on August 10, 2012 from 7p-10p.  The address is 4321 Zimmerman Dr. York, 17408. We are asking each team to bring something to contribute to party.

2013 Tryouts – Tryouts for the 2013 season will be held on Saturday, August 11th and on Sunday, August 12th. On Saturday, 10u-10:00a – 12:00p, 12u-12:30p-2:30p. On Sunday, 14u-1:30p-3:30p, 16u-18u-4:00p-6:00p. Current Ball Hawk players will not need to tryout.  All prospective participants must register through our registration website. Current players will be evaluated over the course of the tournament season by the coaching staff from their respective teams to determine placement for next year.  Please remember to pursue potential sponsors for our organizations.  50% of the money from sponsors you bring in goes towards your dues.

Crab FeastWe are hosting our first annual crab feast at the New Oxford Social and Athletic club (same location as the Bull Roast) on Sept 22, 2012 from 1p-5p. The location of the event is 200 W Golden Ln, New Oxford, PA 17350. We will distribute tickets to the coaches very soon. You can also buy a ticket on our website. The cost of each ticket will be $30.00. The menu includes, all you can eat crabs, chicken, corn, pasta and drinks. Also, you may BYOB.

December 2011


PA Ball Hawks




Jessica Mendoza Clinic – The Jessica Mendoza clinic that had been scheduled for January 7th has been moved to January 8th due to a commitment from ESPN that arose for her.   Exclusive registration for Ball Hawk players will be open until Monday, December 5th.  At that time, Ball Hawk players may still register but registration will be open to rec leagues in south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.  Please register as soon as possible if interested.

Dues Reminder – Just a reminder that the second installment of the dues payment was due November 1st.  Our final installment will be due March 1st.  Players will not be eligible for participation if dues are not current.

Bull Roast – The date for the annual Bull Roast has been set for Saturday, March 17th. Our goal is to make this our most successful yet.  We are also seeking volunteers to serve on the Bull Roast committee to assist Sheri Eckenrode with the planning and share any ideas you may have.  If you are interested please contact Sheri.  Her contact information can be found on our website.  Please volunteer if you are able.

Sponsorship Reminder – Please remember to pursue potential sponsors for our organizations.  50% of the money from sponsors you bring in goes towards your dues.

Board Membership – We are seeking applicants to become members of the board.  Interested individuals should apply on our website. Go the forms section and click on Board Member Application.

Fall Recap – Our fall seasons have ended with great amounts of success with our teams.  Please visit our Team Photos tab to review our fall success.  If you have a photo from a gold, silver, or bronze finish that needs to be added please forward to Howie with a caption detailing the date, tournament name, and any other brief summary.

October 2011

PA Ball Hawks



As we begin our 2012 seasons, we enter with eight teams across five age groups.  In 2012 we will field a 10U team, two 12U teams, three 14U teams, a 16U team, and an 18U team.  As of the date of this letter our teams have begun participating and will continue throughout the fall to participate in tournaments under USSSA, ASA, and PONY sanctioning bodies as well as college showcase tournaments.  2012 promises to be another successful year as we continue to attract some of the finest softball talent to our organization.  With that brings exciting changes.

Mizuno partnership – The Ball Hawks organization is proud to announce our recently formed partnership with Mizuno.  We have tried for several years to hook up with a company like Mizuno.  Given the size of our organization and the success we have had over the past few years, we finally have been able to draw the interest of such a company.  For 2012 and going forward, we will use Mizuno as our uniform supplier.    We will have the opportunity to purchase Mizuno equipment such as bats, helmets, gloves, batting gloves, spikes, etc. at discounted rates.  We will be holding a uniform fitting on October 17 & 18.  At this time you will also have the opportunity to purchase Mizuno equipment.  More details are available on the home page of our website and additional information will be forwarded to the coaches for distribution to the parents.  The partnership with Mizuno has raised many questions with many of our parents.   Answers to some of the frequently asked questions have been sent to the coaches for distribution.

Jessica Mendoza clinic – The Ball Hawks are excited to announce that we will be hosting a clinic along with USA Olympian and ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza.  The clinic will be held on Saturday,  January 7th at York College’s Grumbacher Sports and Fitness Center.  This will prove to be a great experience for our young athletes to learn from one of the best softball players in the world.  More information will be coming soon.  Space will be limited so be sure to register early if you are interested.

Indoor facility – As we continue to strive to provide our players with the best possible opportunities for both training and playing, we understand that we must have an indoor facility available to us.  As we searched for something suitable, we found this to be a very costly venture.  We do have the opportunity to utilize a building at the property of Ken and Katy Holcomb (daughter Shelbee plays on our 14U Harbold team).  This will allow us the opportunity to provide an indoor training facility for a significantly less cost.  There is currently one hitting lane in the building with some additional space on either side of the lane.  We will be looking to improve the building to make it more suitable for use throughout the winter.  Our main task will be to insulate the roof.  Neil Lamparter (daughter Taylor plays on our 12U Collins team) is providing his expertise to complete this work.  Once it is determined what is needed, we will be looking for volunteers to help with the completion of this project.  Please be sure to volunteer some of your time as this will be something that will benefit all of our daughters.

Our goal will be to expand the size of this building in the coming years.  Our fundraising efforts will help to contribute to those costs.  As we get more details, we will set a goal for the amount of funding needed to be able to make this a reality.

Joe Corbi’s fundraiser – Just a reminder that the Joe Corbi’s fundraiser pick up will be Thursday, October 6th from 6:00-8:00 at Bridgeway Church on Reynolds Mill Road.  Please be sure to pick up your order or arrange for someone to pick up for you.  We will not have any space to keep your items refrigerated after the designated pick up time.

If you have any items that you want to have considered for publication in future newsletters, please send that information to Neil Anders at