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When We Next Take the Field – Rejoice!

When our Ruffnecks teams take the field again it will be a time to rejoice.  We can look to the sky for the angle of the sun, gauge the direction of the breeze, kick the dust (or the infill on the artificial turf), dig in and play.  Right now, we don’t know when it will happen. For now we all bide our time, do our duty for the greater good of public and personal health, and do what we can to prepare for the privilege of playing (and coaching) baseball.  As a community, Ruffnecks continue to communicate with each other.  Bonds of friendship among players and families foster welcome conversations through phone and social media.  Some are getting together with appropriate precautions to play catch or to hit balls.  From us to you… Be careful, take care of yourselves.  Be aware that the youthful sense of invincibility may lead to carelessness for those who may be more vulnerable.  Baseball will be here when the time comes to resume.  And our goal is to preserve the Ruffnecks experience.  Things are changing rapidly; Eventually we hope they turn for the better.

On Thursday, March 12th, 13U and 14U Ruffnecks conducted a practice that was high energy and fun.  The next day, amidst rapidly changing events and precautions, we suspended the spring season for 13s and 14s.  We await an opportunity to reassemble, play ball, and instruct.  Our older Ruffnecks await their high school seasons with uncertainty.  Ruffnecks alums have seen their college seasons come to an abrupt halt.  During this time we all can consider the blessings and joys of the game, our children, and the hopes and aspirations for them as athletes.  We also hope that this serves as a starting point for greater awareness of the meaning of sport.  Perhaps the next time an umpire blows a call we can ignore it more readily.  The next time our child strikes out for the third time in the game, we won’t lecture him quite as long on the car ride home, or take away his cell phone.  Sports, and especially youth sports, have always provided the “Great Distraction” from the troubles of the world.  No one could have imagined a worldly trouble that would preclude gathering together on a ball field to provide relief from our problems.  But here we are.  We all seek ways to turn a negative into a positive.  When we next take the field, everyone be grateful for the moment, enjoy, and celebrate the game of Baseball.

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Winter Workouts Done – On To Spring

BC Coach Gambino Addresses Ruffnecks

For the past month Ruffnecks players and coaches have awakened early on Sundays (and Saturdays for the 13s and 14s) to participate in Winter Workouts at Boston College and Harvard University.  Winter Workouts are the Ruffnecks version of Spring Training.  The winter of 2020 offered a compact, focused, series of workouts and practices.  By all measures, the preparation provided an extraordinary opportunity for players to prepare for their spring seasons.  High school aged Ruffnecks find themselves ready for seasons that begin in earnest as early as the first week of March (for some Preps), and for all players by Monday, March 16th.  And the spring is just the beginning of playing baseball until the first week of August.  Yes, the Winter Workouts begin a 6 month journey of baseball for Ruffnecks players.

The Winter Workouts distinguish the Ruffnecks program, not because they make our teams more successful, but because they serve the developmental interests of our players.  These workouts are about going about our business in a “Spring Training” mindset and in preparation and development.  No one is pushed to do more than what should be done.  In fact, the drills and work stations are designed to allow players to get their footing and build strength, confidence, and skills regardless of age and timetable.  We see players arrive at 6:00am for Winter Workouts after playing high school basketball or hockey, wrestling, or other competitive athletics.  We respect multi-sport athletes, and our limited, but efficient Winter Workout program fits them too.

It is a joy to observe older Ruffnecks helping younger players understand the drills, and set an example.  They have been in the younger players’ shoes.  It encourages a natural, mentorship piece to the Ruffnecks experience.  Current Ruffnecks coaches and adjunct coaches make it all happen, bringing their own passion and expertise to the program.  This winter the Ruffnecks enjoyed the presence of professional pitching coach Ace Adams, a veteran of 30 years in Major League organizations.  Ace commented, “I had no idea this program was doing this kind of work.  What terrific kids!  I never dreamed of doing this stuff when I was their age.”  With a nod of thanks to both Harvard and Boston College, we have another great Winter Workout season in the books. Good luck to all our players this spring.

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The Week Ahead - Notices

(Updated Sunday, April 5)


All 13U & 14U Ruffnecks on-field activity is suspended until further notice.

The NEBC is closed to all indoor and outdoor activity until further notice.

14U Team "Practice"
Thursday, April 9

Weekend games for April 11-12 are CANCELLED

Please be well!

Ruffnecks FanWear Store by ScotTees

Gate Passes Available - 2020 Season

NEBC Store Open in Northboro & Online!

Sweatshirts, Shorts, Optional Practice Wear


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