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2013


FALL HIGH SCHOOL FORMAT

September 9, 2013


This fall I am trying something new for the program.  In order to achieve more playing time for each player and to keep cost under control, the coaches and I will divide the high school players into two groups.  Those two groups will play one another every Monday at Memorial Ashford Little League.  Over the next few days, the staff will divide the players into two evenly skilled teams.  Every Monday, we will play a game situation with the two teams making sure to allow all players to get ample at bats, field time and pitching time in preparation for the 2014 season.  Statistics will be kept on games so that the staff can evaluate placement for the coming spring.


This decision was based on several factors.  Over the years, the league at BUSA has continued to increase fees.  This year, the fall program was $2,000 for one team.  The new cost coupled with the 1 hour and 45 minute game time just did not make sense.  Additionally, the other available leagues were only offered on the weekends.  While, I am confident that other leagues existed for available play, the decision was made to have the Thunder compete against one another.  We will also be able to play every Monday night and practice every Thursday night thereby controlling our own schedule.  It allows the staff more flexibility in working with players during game situations.  Finally, instead of the fall fees of $350 this year, the cost will only be $150 per player.


If you have questions regarding the above information, please direct those to me.  When sending in your fees for the fall, please make those checks payable to WHHSA and mail them to PO Box 680, Katy, TX 77492.


Thank you,

Coach Boothe


BP DONATES TO THUNDER PROGRAM

March 31, 2013


Thunder friend and past coach, Leith McDonald, recommended the Thunder program for a donation from BP.  As in previous years, BP has graciously donated $300 to our program based on Leith's recommendation.


I would like to take this time to thank Leith and BP for their contribution to our program.  I am thankful for friends like Leith that continue to give to the Thunder long after his son has left the program. Thank you Leith for your recommendation.  The Thunder is extremely thankful.


Coach Boothe


SPRING 2013 HIGH SCHOOL ROSTERS ANNOUNCED

January 20, 2013


The 2013 Thunder varsity and junior varsity rosters have been determined.  They are as follows:


Varsity - Holden Hrbacek, Colin Powers, Sam Giuffre, Andrew Granger, Sean McIntyre, Calvin Pawley, Moses Smith, Moshi Horne, Kyle Kitchen and Cameron Haynes.

Junior Varsity - Preston Roberts, Chandler Albers, Austin Powers, Will Insull, David Stokley, Trent Cavicchi, Mark Claypool, Elliot Huddle, James McCallum, Daniel Yohe, Matthew Najvar and Kyle Kitchen.


Please understand that due to our roster size on varsity, we will be calling up junior varsity players to play with the varsity.  Your opportunity to play up on varsity will be dependent on how well you play on junior varsity and on the varsity needs.  We will need two to three players every week and will probably call players up on a rotational basis.


Congratulations to all players!  Please contact me if you have any questions.


Coach Boothe


STAN THE MAN, A LEGEND IS GONE

January 20, 2013


As you all know, Stan the Man passed away recently.  Below is a link given to me by Mr. Hinkle about this great gentleman and ball player.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



Coach Boothe



THUNDER PLAYS MIYAGI SUISAN (MIYASUI) AT THE KINKAID SCHOOL  

January 17, 2013


International baseball came to Houston as the West Houston Thunder hosted a Japanese baseball team from Miyagi prefecture, Japan.


The Miyasui team is part of a Japanese program to boost morale in the area which was impacted by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.  While there have been other students who have made the trek to the United States, this is the first full baseball team to come to the US under this program.  The team was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and supported by The Woodlands High School Japanese Club and their families, who graciously hosted the team and welcomed them into their homes.


Both Mr. Teru'aki Abe, coach for the team and also teacher at their school, and  Mr. Hiro'aki Shoji, who manages the team, traveled with the boys during the visit.


This was a wonderful experience for all involved in both teams. It was clear that the Japanese players have a great love for the game and appreciated the opportunity to play here, just as the Thunder team enjoyed playing against a top-notch team.  It was interesting to see the different styles of play, both individually and as a team and both teams learned a lot from each other. It was also fun for the boys to communicate with each other while sharing the sport they each enjoy most.  However, it seems that baseball is a language easily understood by both teams.  A "one" still means a fastball in either language and a good play is recognized with enthusiasm, good sportsmanship, and camaraderie.


Many thanks to Coach Steve Maas, Mike Horn, and The Kinkaid School for providing a world-class venue for the event as well as Charlie Strasser and his volunteer umpire crew from TASO who came out to support the event.


Following is a link of another article written by some of the sponsors of the Miyasui team. It has some additional insights into the team and their visit to the US.Thank to Masumi Reade for forwarding it to us. Miyasui Article



FIRST ANNUAL FATHER/SON BALL GAME AND CHILI COOK-OFF!

January 9, 2013


Thunder -- Here's the "deal," we're gonna "changeup" the way we "blow open" the season by starting with a real show "stopper," please join us for our 1st Annual Father/Son Ball Game and Chili Cook-off!  No need to get all "choked up," everyone is invited, even "Annie Oakley" and Uncle Charlie."  And, of course your "cousin" may come. So, be sure to save Saturday, January 26th from 2:00-5:00 for our 1st Annual Father/Son Ball Game followed with some real "home cooking" provided by each family.  It's up to each family how much "heat" to "dump" into their favorite chili recipe.  Who knows, maybe there will be a "cookie" or two as well.  But, sadly, there will not be any twinkies or "ding dongs."


Have a I lost you yet?  If not, here are the basics: All fathers and their Thunder players (all three levels) are invited to participate in a ball game which surely will be a game characterized as a "comedy of errors!"  Rooting on the teams will be the wives/moms and player siblings and anyone else who wants to watch some good ole sandlot baseball.  Maybe even the "men in blue" will show up. Following the game, we will "nibble" on some delicious chili. Each family is asked to bring their favorite chili recipe (pre-made in a crockpot) to share with the team. I'm working on the flyer, which will contain more details.  I will upload it in the few days.  I just wanted to give everyone a "heads-up" so you can mark your calendars. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Brandy



INVITATION TO JH TRYOUT

January 7, 2013


An invitation to the tryout participants has been extended today.  Assuming all new players accept the invitation, the JH roster will be as follows:


Fredric Hinkle, Michael Claypool, Hachi Horne, Aaron Johnson, Mason Chavez, Joshua McDonald, Micah Yohe, Trevor Pawley, Julian Francis, Jack Simon and Caleb Garcia.


Congratulations to the 2013 Junior High players.  I look forward to watching your careers as Thunder players.


Coach Boothe


ROSTER CLARIFICATION

January 1, 2013


We are often asked at what level a young man will be playing.  So I thought I would take a moment to clarify the qualities that are considered in determining where a player fits into our program.


First, talent is the most important quality considered when evaluating players for roster spots.  At the end of the day, the Thunder is trying to be the most competitive baseball program possible.  The Thunder is not a recreational baseball program.  The coaching staff makes those determinations early in the season based on practice time and fall ball.  Generally, we have a good idea where most players fit right away.


Second, physical development.  Many young men are physically able to handle things at a higher level while others are not.  We have had players come into the program in 8th grade that looked like seniors and we have had seniors that looked like they should be playing junior high ball.  This does not mean that a small player does not have talent, he just may not have the size to compete at the higher level due to physical constraints.


Third, age.  If a player turns 15 prior to September 1, then he is no longer eligible for the junior high team.  All players turning 15 after September 1 are still eligible for junior high and may be asked to play at that level along with another level if the player's talent warrants additional playing time.  On many occasions, I have played 13, 14 and 15 year olds on the varsity level.  However, they are also expected to play at the junior varsity level and possibly the junior high level.  When my son, Joshua, was 14, he played junior high, junior varsity and varsity.  Not because of his talent but because the program was thin with players during that time.  That is no longer the case.  


Fourth, work ethic and attitude.  Honestly, a bad attitude or poor work ethic will eventually force you to be removed from the team.  We will work with young men but if it is apparent that we are not making any head way, we will just cut our losses.  There is nothing worse on a team than a lazy player with a bad attitude no matter how talented.  The Handbook covers additional behavior issues for players.


Fifth, commitment.  If we have to decide between two young men of equal talent and behavior, and one played fall with the Thunder while the other did not, then we will choose the player that played fall ball with the Thunder.  If the player has a history of missing practices and games, then that will impact his spot as well.  The program wants committed players.  One of the program's goals is to achieve the highest level of competition possible.  The program started out playing 1A baseball.  Our schedule now includes as high as 4A baseball.  The highest level cannot be achieved without the commitment of the coaches, board, parents and players.  


Finally, if you do not pay, you will not play.  No exceptions.  The Thunder program has been taken advantage of so many times that we now take a hard stance on the subject.  The program does not scholarship players.  If you want a scholarship, ask your family, your church, your employer or a close friend.  If you are interested in providing funds for another player, I can help you get connected with a player in need.


Now, I hope you all are ready for some baseball!

Coach Boothe  
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