Darrell,

The few years I've been on this site I also haven't seen too much going on with the Illinois Forum...  My quest has been to assist my 2018 with the recruiting process and most items were in other forums.  

And given the chilly weather I haven't been in baseball mode...I'll check back in later. - I'm in Lake County.

To be honest, the Chicago-land schools had a big contingent on here and we threw around a lot of discussions like who was headed South for a Spring trip, what teams were the teams to beat, what players were ones to follow, etc.  In the South, myself and others answered those same questions.  Besides a good north/south discussion, Chicago land had great discussions on conferences and often who was scheduled on the bump when such and such school played.  I coach HS Baseball then and so, I always ran into Chicago land schools in tournaments.  We often played Tinley Park Andrew, Oak Forest, ... at some point in the season and back then, more than a few HS coaches were on this site and followed some of these clashes.  My teams were pretty good back in the day.  Naturally, draft day was also pretty special.  I made a lot of friends back then and understand that many of them have moved on since their sons stopped playing.  Still, there is a lot of room for getting this forum back on track and reading about baseball from the State of Illinois.  

Take care,

Darrell

Great news!  Hopefully others will as well.  I'll do my best to provide updates on the St. Louis Metro East where I live.  I know that my HS is going to have a couple of players who are pretty good.  I don't know how good they can be as the program has had its ups and downs recently.  

We're in the NW Suburbs of Chicago playing in the Mid-Suburban League. After winning 3 straight MSL championships we went through a bit of a "rebuilding" year last year, but I think we'll be a good team this spring. Son is a junior playing his second full season at varsity.

Hello Coach Butler! What a great New Years surprise to hear from you and all the others from our once flourishing Illinois forum. But, time marches on. I’m marching with a brand new knee; I’m now on the wrong side of 70 but life is good. My Cubs won a WS and I was alive to see a couple of games in person. Darrell, your little girl is a grown up beautiful young lady. Our son Jordan is now finishing his 3rd year of med school, but still finds time to always talk Baseball with his Dad. That’s a gift I treasure with all my heart. Hope all of you have a great 2018.

> On Jan 17, 2018, at 10:36 PM, HS Baseball Web <alerts@hoop.la> wrote:
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itsrosy posted:
Hello Coach Butler! What a great New Years surprise to hear from you and all the others from our once flourishing Illinois forum. But, time marches on. I’m marching with a brand new knee; I’m now on the wrong side of 70 but life is good. My Cubs won a WS and I was alive to see a couple of games in person. Darrell, your little girl is a grown up beautiful young lady. Our son Jordan is now finishing his 3rd year of med school, but still finds time to always talk Baseball with his Dad. That’s a gift I treasure with all my heart. Hope all of you have a great 2018.

> On Jan 17, 2018, at 10:36 PM, HS Baseball Web <alerts@hoop.la> wrote:
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It is great to hear from you again.  Time sure flew.  I also have to have some major work done.  My right knee and right hip have to be replaced.  In fact, I can barely walk at times now.  Your son in Med School has to make you so proud.  That is the tough road and he'll do well!  Being a Cardinal Fan, it was tough seeing the Cubs win the World Series and yet, I'm a National League Fan and so, rooted for them.  History was made and it was special.  I'm glad that you got to see it.  

I'm going to try to be consistent in posting in the Illinois Forum and see if I can get some activity here again.  We know from my area that Edwardsville and O'Fallon  will be good again.  They just reload.  Still, there are other programs on the rise and we'll see how they do.

Darrell, sorry to hear about your knee and hip problem. For Cindy and I 2017 wasn’t too easy either. Wife got new R hip in April and L hip in October. So I was her caregiver and then she became mine in December. It either brings couples closer, or paves the way for an old folks divorce.❤️⚾️We’re good. I’m smiling knowing that I’m speaking with you.

> On Jan 19, 2018, at 11:46 AM, HS Baseball Web <alerts@hoop.la> wrote:
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CoachB maybe you can give some insight...we are going down to Edwardsville mid March for a PBR Kick-Off event. We play Edwardsville and STL Marquette...one game I believe at Edwardsville HS and the other at Tom Pile fields.  Anybody know how those fields are? Turf I believe? Any good shops or food places we can check out?

Still here.  But please, no old folks medical talk.  Sounds too much like a holiday gathering. 

One good change for us this year, we are actually headed "south" for some spring break games.  Looking forward to the final year.  Will be rough as our team doesn't have much depth -- not even sure we have enough to field a quality 9.  A few seniors have already quit due to last year's nonsense.  One is on the fence.  At the end, we may have only 3 seniors.  No pitching.  No development.  Should be "fun."     

James G posted:

CoachB maybe you can give some insight...we are going down to Edwardsville mid March for a PBR Kick-Off event. We play Edwardsville and STL Marquette...one game I believe at Edwardsville HS and the other at Tom Pile fields.  Anybody know how those fields are? Turf I believe? Any good shops or food places we can check out?

Tom Pile Field is Edwardsville's main field.  It is at the HS.  They also have a Turf field that serves as their JV Field.  These fields are separated by a parking lot but in the same complex.   Edwardsville is always really good.  They have a stud on their team that, I believe, is a sophomore this year. Drake Westcott is one of the top players in his graduating year in the nation and is already committed to Louisville.  St. Louis Marquette is also a fine program.  There are food places all over so it would depend upon the type of food you want.  Near the field you will find a Quiznos, McDonalds, Wendy's, and then some better places.  While it can get pricey, the wife and I love Bella Milano.  It is right around the corner from the high school.  Edwardsville is an upscale place so you can find food at any price point you like.  

Side note - As many of you know, for 12 years, I was one of Tom Pile's assistant coaches there.  We won a couple of state championships and had a state runner up.  During that time, one team went 40-0 and another team(s) had a run of 64 wins in a row.  I've spent hours on that mound and filed.   My daughter just agreed to join the Edwardsville High School Softball Coaching Staff.  

Golfman25 posted:

Still here.  But please, no old folks medical talk.  Sounds too much like a holiday gathering. 

One good change for us this year, we are actually headed "south" for some spring break games.  Looking forward to the final year.  Will be rough as our team doesn't have much depth -- not even sure we have enough to field a quality 9.  A few seniors have already quit due to last year's nonsense.  One is on the fence.  At the end, we may have only 3 seniors.  No pitching.  No development.  Should be "fun."     

Wow, sounds really tough.  Hopefully you will have a surprise player step up.  

itsrosy posted:
Darrell, sorry to hear about your knee and hip problem. For Cindy and I 2017 wasn’t too easy either. Wife got new R hip in April and L hip in October. So I was her caregiver and then she became mine in December. It either brings couples closer, or paves the way for an old folks divorce.❤️⚾️We’re good. I’m smiling knowing that I’m speaking with you.

> On Jan 19, 2018, at 11:46 AM, HS Baseball Web <alerts@hoop.la> wrote:
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Bruce, I just read your response.  I laughed at the thought of my wife being my "caregiver."  She is more apt to say that I got what I deserved to get up and get stuff myself.  LOL  On a side note, this has been one of the worst weeks I have had walking.  I seem to have great weeks and one or two bad days.  Have never had a bad week.  Don't care to have another one.  LOL  

James G posted:

CoachB maybe you can give some insight...we are going down to Edwardsville mid March for a PBR Kick-Off event. We play Edwardsville and STL Marquette...one game I believe at Edwardsville HS and the other at Tom Pile fields.  Anybody know how those fields are? Turf I believe? Any good shops or food places we can check out?

Having done a couple of tournaments in that area, outside of the convenient places right by the HS that CoachB mentioned, we and several other families liked Peel Wood Fired Pizza.

uncoach posted:
James G posted:

CoachB maybe you can give some insight...we are going down to Edwardsville mid March for a PBR Kick-Off event. We play Edwardsville and STL Marquette...one game I believe at Edwardsville HS and the other at Tom Pile fields.  Anybody know how those fields are? Turf I believe? Any good shops or food places we can check out?

Having done a couple of tournaments in that area, outside of the convenient places right by the HS that CoachB mentioned, we and several other families liked Peel Wood Fired Pizza.

This is an excellent recommendation.  I forgot to add that if you all are from Chicago, you won't probably like IMO's Pizza next to the sports complex.  The crust is thin-thin and not close to Chicago style pizza.  Peel's is wood fired and taste great.  There is a McAlister's Deli that is always busy and it is less than a mile southwest of the sports complex.  I like it a lot.  Bulls and Bears can be pricey but it is really good.  It is more of a grill and bar atmosphere.   The wings are expensive but they are also a pound or more.  

Golfman, Marion has always had outstanding baseball teams.  I haven't ever run into Murphysburo.  

Season starts on Monday.  We will have tryouts in both baseball and softball and just might have record numbers trying out for both.  We are to be in the mid 50s but have had right at 5 inches of rain this week.  It just stopped raining in our area.  Good luck to everyone with tryouts.  As a coach, I hate it.  I find it hard to tell a young person that they can't play and yet, I understand why it has to be done.  In softball, we only have 22 uniforms for both teams and so will have to cut some players that can play.  I've never understood why softball only gets 22 uniforms.  

How are things going so far?  We are inundated with rain.  We had right at 6 inches in 3 days.  We have not been able to be on an infield yet.  To this point, we have only been outside 3 times.  Today will be no different as we had rain during the night and then more rain and falling temperatures this afternoon.  In fact, there is the possibility it will start as snow.  I know some of you up North have been hammered with winter storms.  

In talking yesterday with some of the baseball boys, they are excited here at Triad.  They are very young but have a couple of quality seniors.  IMO, they are a year away from being real good.  They need another quality starter.

This weekend, we have rain in the forecast again.  For us, softball, we are going to have our parent's meeting no matter what.  Last year was the first time since I have coached that we didn't have a parent's meeting.  It didn't go well.  I'll leave that at that.  

Hope to hear back from some of you!

Believe me, I’ve got plenty of empathy remembering early “spring” and trying to get outside. But, I’m also jealous because you’re still doing it and helping the players. I hope you all can enjoy better weather and a successful season. 

Got to love the midwest for Spring Baseball and uncertain weather. My son's team has been fortunate to have at least 4 outdoor practices on the field. He also had a inter-squad scrimmage last Saturday. Now we have snow on ground.  He has 4 games scheduled next week, but we will see. Forecast looks promising....but not holding my breath.

Have only been on football turf a couple times. Not once on field.  First games next Saturday in Edwardsville, so we are gearing up for that.  Doing everything we can inside with pitching, hitting, situations, hitting live off pitchers in cage, etc. Frustrating. 

James, how did your team do in Edwardsville.  I drove by there but was on a mission to get something and could not stop in.  

My HS is off to a atypical start and is giving up a lot of runs.  They have been beaten twice by big scores.  It is a long season so there is more than enough time to right the ship.  

CoachB25 posted:

James, how did your team do in Edwardsville.  I drove by there but was on a mission to get something and could not stop in.  

My HS is off to a atypical start and is giving up a lot of runs.  They have been beaten twice by big scores.  It is a long season so there is more than enough time to right the ship.  

Brutal. Lost 5-2 and 4-1. Two big innings cost both games. For how cold it was and playing for first time, the pitching and defense overall was a plus for us. Could not hit whatsoever. Lots of Ks and LOB . Also lost our best hitter for many weeks with a fractured thumb. 

Had a great time though. Super impressed with the Edwardsville facilities. 

 

Our school in in the Fox Valley conference (home of the state champs our rival) have been out for a couple weeks..Dry weather but definitely a bit cold, but have sat in worse. We are also going to Marion as Golfman noted. Team started well 2-0, although kid, not so much. Told him trust yourself and your abilities. Keep your head up. He is a senior and is my last baseball player. Committed, then uncommitted to an out of state school, as mom and dad feel his grades don't justify a 4 year school. He will most likely go to the local community college, however the team is extremely competitive who recruits D1 talent as Fresh and soph. We'll see what the future holds for him. Going to enjoy this last ride if that is what it is. Good luck and blessing to all!

Update, it poured!!!  We have standing water everywhere.  Between Monday and Tuesday, we are to get 3 more inches of rain.  

It has rained all day today and, as a lot of you know, I am coaching softball now.  We had a great practice today.  We funneled hitters in in groups of 4.  Front toss in half of the cage and a machine in the other half.  Varsity only and each group was in for 40 minutes.  It was one of the best and most intense practices we have had.  I got to do a lot of coaching of the hitters.  To a player, they asked if they could do more practices like this.  

We are finally able to get some games in.  Some of the area teams are off to great starts.  Naturally, O'Fallon, Belleville East, and Edwardsville are really good year in and year out.  Valmeyer is a small Class A school that is tearing it up.  They have a stud pitcher.  My school is hovering around .500 but is starting to turn the corner.  They played CBC from St. Louis which is always a baseball power and were winning when I left the park.  

As I mentioned, I am coaching softball now at the JV level but actually doing the hitting.  The JV and Varsity practice together.  Right now, we are averaging 7+ runs a game.  We can hit the ball.  

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