Every year, Welles Park Parents Association ("WPPA") recognizes several league participants who embody the goals and ideals of the league: sportsmanship and respect for all participants, skill development, positive attitude, community involvement, and most importantly, having fun and helping others have fun, too.
Coach of the Year Awards
These coaches embody WPPA's goals and mission to bring top-quality baseball and softball to the youth of our local community. They work hard to develop each player and deliver a fun, competitive experience throughout the season while simultaneously earning the respect of coaches, umpires, parents and the community at large. For baseball, the Gene Sims Award is named for WPPA's inaugural President who launched our league in 1990. Similarly, softball's Ray Owens Award is named for WPPA's inaugural Softball Commissioner who launched that division in 2014.
2020 Gene Sims Award
Lucas has been a baseball coach for Welles Park since 2013. His teams have been competitive and have always displayed high character and sportsmanship. His Junior team won the World Series this year and his Minor team last year was runner up. Lucas also assists with the 11U Gray travel team. Lucas embodies all of the principles at Welles Park that we strive to achieve.
2020 Ray Owens Award
Gerry consistently encourages players to do their best in a very positive manner. He sincerely cares about all of his players, the other coaches, the umpires, the softball division and all of the WPPA. To show his enthusiasm for delivering the best possible experience, he brought a banjo to play "Rocky Top" (for his Tennessee Volunteers) and other country songs before a game, much to the parents' and kids' delight and enjoyment!
BASH Jim Price Player of the Year Awards
These players are well-known throughout WPPA as great players -- not because they are the best players, or the fastest players, or the smartest players, or the best hitters, or the best pitchers, or demonstrate the greatest sportsmanship -- but because they excel across all of those categories. WPPA's third president, Jim Price, donates a BASH Academy membership to each of these players as a prize for this award.
2020 Baseball Recipient:
Maggie's approach, attitude, sportsmanship, and teamwork are all the things that WPPA looks for in a player. Maggie plays at a high level, and as a 2nd yr Senior she had shown her dedication to baseball and the WPPA. She is a leader on many levels and WPPA is lucky to have her as a part of our league!
2020 Softball Recipient:
Lauren Walton is an inaugural member of the WPPA softball program and has played every year since the beginning. Her calm demeanor on the field and in the dugout is much appreciated by all--and her teamwork, respect for others, and good sports(wo)manship are exemplary. She is a top pitcher in the league--when she isn't practicing, she would often help younger pitchers. She also volunteered in the 14U Ambassador program, made up of players wanting to give back to the league by helping younger players learn the game. Lauren is one of those players any coach would love to have on their team.
Umpire of the Year Awards
These umpires represent commitment to fair play and execution of sportsmanship at the highest level. For baseball, the Andy Lowenthal Award recognizes the hard work of WPPA's fourth President from 2007 through 2010. Softball's Paul Thompson Award recognizes his unmatched dedication to WPPA in many facets across several decades, including umpiring WPPA games. Each umpire receives a $500 scholarship from WPPA.
2020 Andy Lowenthal Award
Will Czech is a senior at Jones College Prep where he plays Varsity soccer. Will began umpiring for WPPA 4 years ago in the Rookie division. Today he regularly calls games in our Major Division and for travel baseball.
2020 Paul Thompson Award
Evie Calderon is a freshman at Lewis University where she is a member of the softball team. She played varsity softball for 4 years at Whitney Young and has been umpiring for 2 years with WPPA. Her knowledge of the game and desire to be a great umpire are evident every time she is behind the plate!