It has been a tough, cold winter for everyone in New England. Ruffnecks players of all ages are longing for the start of baseball season and the excitement that comes with the spring and summer schedules. The staff has been hard at work since November planning more than 40 events for Ruffnecks teams and players. Airline and hotel reservations provide significant administrative challenges, as Ruffnecks teams come and go during June, July, and August with frequency. The 2014 schedules find Ruffnecks teams traveling from Texas to the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, as well as other locations. All five of the Ruffnecks teams are attending events in Nashville, Tennesse. The organization participates in several Perfect Game tournaments and returns for a second season to Premier World Series competition in addition to CABA World Series events. The schedule provides a wide range of competitive opportunities against many of the finest teams and baseball players in the nation.
13s and 14s Open March 22-23
In only four weeks time the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks travel to New Jersey and Diamond Nation to compete in their fifth consecutive “Spring Fling” Tournament. The event is a 14U tourney in which the 13s face the challenge of playing older, more experienced opponents. For both the 13s and 14s participation in the tournament provides an opportunity to get the entire roster some game experience. Although the primary objective is to use the tournament like “spring training” games, the 14U Ruffnecks made it to the championship game last year. Such results are not the expectations, but always a pleasant surprise if the team is fortunate enough to advance. Following the Diamond Nation trip, the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks focus on NEBA play for the duration of April and May. During Memorial Day weekend both teams transition to tournament play. The 13U Ruffnecks will attend the PG Super25 tournament in Beverly, while the 14U Ruffnecks will attend the Memorial Day Classic hosted by Team Connecticut in Bristol, CT. Both teams spend June and July in tournament competition at events on Cape Cod and at other venues in New England. The 14s travel to Springfield, Missouri for the Premier World Series, and include the CABA World Series (Nashville, TN) and the Perfect Game WWBA (Emerson, GA) in their travels. The 13U Ruffnecks are also attending the 14U CABA World Series.
College Prospect Ruffnecks Embark on Challenging Trips
The three oldest Ruffnecks squads face significant travel and competition challenges this summer. The 15U Ruffnecks (Class of 2017), open up in early June at the New Jersey Super 16U Invitational at Diamond Nation. They then embark on a 10 day trip through Georgia and to the University of South Carolina at the end of June where they play in the 15U WWBA and bus to USC for a 16U/17U event that should be a challenge. The 15s fly with their 16U Ruffnecks brethren to Nashville to participate in a highly competitive 16U event that finds the 15U Ruffnecks playing at venues such as Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University, and Belmont University. The 15s also travel to Texas for the Premier World Series.
The 16U Ruffnecks (Class of 2016) mirror much of the same schedule that the Senior Ruffnecks (Class of 2015) face. Early June finds the teams together at Battle at the Border in Stamford, CT; The NEB 18U Invitational (Worcester, MA); and the Super 17 at Diamond Nation. During the final weekend of June the two teams part ways with the 16s playing in the 17U PG Super25 while the Seniors head to Nashville, Tennessee for the Music City Classic. July finds the 16s in Nashville with the 15s, at the Perfect Game WWBA in Georgia, and at the Diamond Nation 17U World Series.
The Senior Ruffnecks have, perhaps, the most challenging and comprehensive schedule ever assembled for a Ruffnecks squad. In addition to the June schedule outlined above, the Senior Ruffnecks embark on a 16 day road trip that takes them from the Music City Classic in Nashville to Georgia for two separate events, including the Perfect Game 17U WWBA. They return home to host the Boston Invitational before hitting the road again in Joplin, Missouri for the Premier World Series. They finish at the Blue Chips Prospects at Diamond Nation August 4-8. With very few “Off Days,” all the Ruffnecks will be playing a lot of baseball!