December 2011

We are one week away from starting practice. I am extremely excited about the quality of talent the program has coming back this spring! The first practice is scheduled for January 3 at 5:30pm. The scheduled practice is for 9-12 grade players only. The junior high players will begin practice later in January.

I anticipate having more players participate with the Thunder program than any other year in history. The first two weeks of practice will be used to evaluate talent prior to making roster decisions.

On January 4th there will be a parent’s meeting at BUSA in the main building meeting room upstairs. All new player’s parents are asked to arrive by 7pm for an introduction to our program. All returning player’s parents should arrive ready to start the second portion of the meeting by 7:30pm. The meeting should end no later than 9pm. This is the only meeting the program has during the entire year so I would ask that at least one parent be in attendance.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Coach Boothe



The Banquet slide show has been posted to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ0chmuu7aoprofile counter myspace


June 2011

Coach Joe Kilburn's Thunder Junior High team finished the season with a strong showing at the Bear Creek League Championships. Coming in as the bottom seed, the Thunder made a run all the way to the championship game before falling short. Their second place finish, however, was a great accomplishment for a great group of future Thunder varsity players!

Congratulations to all of the junior high players and coaches for the progress and determination that you showed this season!!!


June 2011

Congratulations to Josh Boothe for being selected to the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association (HABCA) 4A North All Star squad!!! The 4A game is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21st at 4:30 pm to be followed by the 5A All Star game at 7:30 pm at Reckling Park on the Rice University campus. Josh will be the first home schooled athlete selected by an HABCA coach for an all star team.

Update 6/22/11: After pinch running early in the game, Josh came in to play a solid first base for the 4A North All Stars from the 4th inning on. True to his nickname, Josh made a great "stretch" on a close play at first to secure the out on a tough infield grounder. By getting the out, Josh saved a run in a close game. The North team was no-hit by 7 different South All Star pitchers. Josh got one at bat and hit a deep fly ball to center that was caught for an out. All in all, Josh represented his family, the Thunder, and all home schooled athletes very well.


Jan 7, 2011

Below is a summary of the improvements our team has made to the MALL field both during and since our field work day last Oct. As you can read below, there have been many projects completed which have made big improvements to the field. In short, the field really looks awesome and is in very good shape for the start of practice next week!

Thanks to those who have continued to help during organized work days as well as those who continue to help on an ad hoc basis. It is due to these efforts that the boys will continue to benefit from excellent baseball facilities and improve their skills. Clearly, we will need the ongoing help from all of the Thunder players / families to be able to continue to improve and maintain these facilities.

Completed Projects:

1. Field Grading / Drainage

a. Significant improvements on infield grade / flatness which has helped overall drainage as well as provide a better playing surface.

b. Removed dirt lips on both 1st base and 3rd base to allow true hops.

c. The baselines were filled with grass to avoid difficulty in maintenance in these areas.

d. Added clay to even infield dirt areas.

e. Applied field conditioner to infield dirt areas

f. Retention pond outside the left field fence, which has worked very well to keep standing water off the field.

i. During the last 2 heavy rains, the field has been playable the following day, due to these improvements.

ii. This will allow less rain-out for practices and games this spring.

2. Pitching Mound

a. Rebuilt mound with clay bricks to reduce forming divots from normal pitching.

b. Added a turf landing area between mound and home plate to reduce wear / erosion in this area and to provide a surface from which to throw batting practice.

3. Home Plate

a. Rebuilt batter’s boxes and catcher’s box with clay bricks to reduce wear and tear / erosion in these areas.

b. Have purchased turf carpet for use during batting practice to reduce overall wear in this area.

4. Bull Pen

a. Poured concrete slab for home plate side of the bull pen to allow up to 3 simultaneous sessions. This will help improve efficiency of bull pen work so that more than one player can get in pitching reps.

b. Leveled mound area in preparation of installing 3 new mounds.

5. Sprinkler System

a. Resolved electrical issues preventing sprinklers from working at all.

b. Significant improvements in location of the sprinkler heads for better coverage on the field and on infield dirt / pitching mound / home plate areas.

c. Replaced nearly all of the sprinkler heads and adjusted for maximum area coverage.

d. Can now wet infield dirt prior to practice/ games using only sprinkler system.

6. Batting Cage

a. Improve fencing around the cage to reduce broken / curled sections.

b. Replaced batting cage net

c. Have purchased pads for the hitters to stand on.

7. Fencing

a. Miscellaneous improvements to fencing to repair broken / curling fencing.

i. Keeps the ball on the playing field and reduces out-of-play balls.

8. Dugouts

a. Poured sidewalk from gate across home dugout which had been pooling water after rains.

b. Created weep holes in the visitor dugout to prevent water from accumulating after heavy rains. Working very well.

c. Filled in cinder block holes in the dugout wall with cement.

9. Grass / Fertilizer

a. Planted winter rye grass in both infield and outfield.

b. Fertilized infield.

c. Applied ant killer to both infield and outfield. Ongoing battle.

10. General

a. Cleaned / organized storage shed.

b. Repaired center field wind screen.

11. Installed the 3 pitching mounds in the bull pen

Projects Outstanding

1. Edging between infield dirt and grass in front of shortstop and 2nd base areas to create a clean lip.

2. Replacing plywood / frame backstop behind home plate. This is beginning to show a lot or rot / decay.

a. We need volunteers from the team to drive this project.

3. Completion of the painting for both dugouts.

a. We need volunteers from the team to drive this project.

Again, thanks for the ongoing help to continue to improve and maintain the fields / facilities. This is the key for us to continue to improve as a baseball organization.