Members of the Hornets Baseball Club spent a recent Saturday morning cleaning up EDH from New York Creek to the high school and beyond. Courtesy photo


Hornets swarm EDH clean-up

By From page A1 | November 08, 2017

The El Dorado Hills-based Hornets Baseball Club proves its mantra of team, hustle and pride both on and off the field. On a recent Saturday, Hornets players and their families collected a combined 20 bags of trash by concentrating on sections of El Dorado Hills, canvassing the El Dorado Hills Community Services District grounds, El Dorado Hills Boulevard, area schools and along New York Creek, to name a few.

“This is something we plan to do annually,” said parent and one of the 13u team managers Joe Verandes. “The Hornets is more than baseball. Our main goal is to help these boys become good young men.”

The club has also adopted two families via the Center for Violence-free Relationships in Placerville and has scheduled a team gift collection and wrapping party to benefit the families just in time for the holidays. “We want to give back to the community,” Verandes added. “We want to make sure these kids are looking outside the bubble of El Dorado Hills.”

The Hornets was formed as an adjunct to Little League in 2012 after a few El Dorado Hills fathers increasingly saw that in their sport, kids having fun and the opportunity to play were being lost to the pressure to win. The Hornets started with 12 kids playing sandlot baseball, but then grew to 20 kids and then 40.

Today the Hornets Baseball Club has six teams of players ranging from 10 to 14 years old and continues to grow. Dan Lepore was one of the fathers who started the club, the “idea guy,” while friend Mike Frank got the club up and going. “The concept was simple — get friends playing with friends,” Lepore explained. “We wanted them to learn to compete but still have fun with their buddies.”

The Hornets season begins in early summer when Little League and all-star teams conclude and runs through the end of November, but that is up to each coach’s discretion. “We want to provide another outlet for kids who want to keep playing,” Verandes explained. “The goal is also to provide a low-cost option to play competitive baseball. We are proud that our players have done well in Little League and in all stars. We are also proud to hand over to area high schools kids who understand baseball. Making majors is not the goal, though. The Hornets is far more about building kids up.”

The organization is a nonprofit run entirely by volunteers. While the majority of kids live in El Dorado Hills, kids in surrounding areas are welcome too.

“Team, hustle, pride is the mantra of the Hornets program,” Verandes added. “The name on the front of the jersey is emphasized, not the name on the back. The Hornets is bigger than one team or one player. This is something every Hornets player really does get and we know that the 5- and 6-year-olds playing single-A ball are watching.

“We either win or we learn, there’s no losing,” Verandes continued. “The more you have the kids engaged, the more production and better time they’re going to have. My goal is wanting the kids to want to play again. The Hornets program is perfect for that.”

For more information email [email protected]

Julie Samrick

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