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.
2021 Gene Sims Award:
Ceannaich has served as a WPPA head coach for the past 6 years progressing through Rookies, Juniors and Minors with his youngest son. For the past 3 seasons, Ceannaich has managed to balance two teams which also includes coaching his oldest sons’ in Seniors. The hallmark of Ceannaich’s teams, at every level, is their competitiveness. Throughout each season he has coached, Ceannaich has consistently developed the players on his team, putting them in situations on the field where they can be successful and, ultimately, help the team compete in every game. He doesn’t emphasize the wins and the losses with his teams, but rather being prepared to compete at which point the wins and losses will take care of themselves. Ceannaich is a dedicated and passionate coach teaching his players the fundamentals of the game, what it means to compete and exemplifying the values of WPPA.
2021 Ray Owens Award:
Renee has coached for WPPA for the past six years and for most of those years she’s been the only female head coach in the upper divisions. She and her husband/co-coach Sean are known for holding their players to a high standard but for doing so respectfully—and with grace—while keeping it fun for the whole team. However, Renee has a unique knack for connecting with her players, oftentimes helping those with very little confidence believe in themselves, eventually helping them develop both as players on the field and as strong young women outside of softball. On top of coaching, Renee has been an advocate of WPPA’s “Light the Diamonds” project and has gone above and beyond to help the entire 14U softball division by scheduling for a local travel softball team to avoid conflicts with WPPA. To be sure, Renee has served as a role model for these young women players in more ways than one.
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.
2021 Baseball Recipient:
It would be hard to find a player more deserving of the Jim Price BASH Player of the Year Award than Charlie Pribyl. It is clear he loves the game of baseball and it shows not only in his play but also in his attitude and in how he treats his teammates. Charlie is not loud or boisterous. He is a man of few words. He lets his play speak for itself and usually does it with a smile on his face. He plays hard and has fun. (It is a game after all.) He can impact a game on the mound, in the field, at the plate and on the base paths. He doesn't fail often, but when he does, he doesn’t dwell on it. He just moves forward and focuses on the next play. He makes his teammates better, his coaches smarter, and we love having him on the team. The future is very bright for Charlie Pribyl.
2021 Softball Recipient:
Caroline was nominated by several coaches this year, testimony to the impact she has had on her many years at Welles and her leadership both on and off the field. She works hard, she plays hard, and she is respectful to players, coaches, and umpires. She leads others by example and with a slight smile more than words, but it's effective nonetheless. When she succeeds, she doesn't gloat; when she fails she keeps a level head. She listens intently to coach instruction and adds it to her tool bag, and after every practice and game, she thanks her coaches. She has left an impression across the league, and she’s done so without bravado, but with talent, effort and enthusiasm. Caroline is an outstanding teammate, a versatile player (happy on the mound or out in center field) and, without a doubt, one of the best all-around players that WPPA Softball has ever seen.
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.
2021 Andy Lowenthal Award
Ilyas Adnane has been umpiring for the WPPA for 5 years. He attended Lane Tech High School where he played 4 years of football and was a member of the choir as well. He is a junior at The University of Michigan and is majoring in physics and minoring in computer science.
2021 Paul Thompson Award
Chris Hartman has been umpiring at Welles Park for 5 years and has been umpiring softball for over 20 years. He is clear, concise and decisive. He's there on time, he's respectful, and he always goes above and beyond, helping work on the fields and keeping the safety of our players priority Number 1.
Past Winners (Baseball)
Gene Sims Award (Coach of Year)
2020: Lucas Tryggestad
BASH Award (Player of Year)
2020: Maggie Zieger
Andy Lowenthal Award (Umpire of Year)
2020: Will Czech
Past Winners (Softball)
Ray Owens Award (Coach of Year)
2020: Gerry Winters
2019: Joe Hallinan
2018: Paul Haynes
2015: Kristin & Bill Reynolds
2014: David Keenan
BASH Award (Player of Year)
2020: Lauren Walton
Paul Thompson Award (Umpire of Year)
2020: Evie Calderon