MIDDLETOWN, N.J.– A vital part of collegiate baseball and of every major summer baseball league is the host families who welcome ballplayers from all around the country into their homes. It has proven to be a rewarding experience for all those involved, from the host parents to their children, as well as the athletes.
The Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League (ABCCL, www.abccl.com) needs your help to get the 2011 season off to a great start! We are currently seeking host families in Middlesex, Mercer, Morris, Monmouth and Ocean Counties to house some of our out-of-state college players who will be competing on the Jersey Shore this summer.
The ABCCL, now going into its eleventh season, is in the process of filing for official non-profit status, and the league exists solely to benefit college student-athletes by maximizing their playing opportunities. A number of our players are not from New Jersey (so far for 2011 – Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Indiana, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania are represented), and need a place to stay this summer. These players all come highly recommended by their coaches as “good kids” who don’t drink or smoke, and having one in your home this summer could be a wonderful experience.
The players are more than willing to help out around the house, doing odd jobs like cutting lawns or cleaning pools, and are especially great as role models to younger children, as they’d be happy to train and teach the game to the kids.
The expectations of a host family are to provide housing for the player, and though not required, invitations to family meals are always welcome! Players will miss several meals a week due to practice and their four weekly games, and many of them also have summer jobs. The players either have their own cars or are on a carpool schedule and have their own transportation to and from games and work. A weekly stipend may also be available to help ease the cost of housing a player.
The host family concept has been successfully in existence for many years now where people such as Anthony and Ivette Fernicola of Holmdel, parents of two high school age boys, have supported the ABCCL’s out-of-state ballplayers for the past four years and have offered them a wonderfully warm environment. The experience of being a host family is an amazing opportunity as seen by Ivette Fernicola: “Hosting has been nothing but positive. We have a laid back household atmosphere here and the players really fit in and become part of the family.”
Heather & Frank Delepine jumped at the chance to host a player from out of state last year and play alongside their son Connor Delepine (Seton Hall University; hometown Middletown, NJ) on the Monmouth Monarchs. “I did not hesitate to say yes” Heather Delepine said, “I would do anything for a young man that loves the sport as much as we do. I feel great to be part of his memory for the summer of 2010 when he played with the Monarchs. When he will remember the great coaching staff, and maybe how he finally learned how to throw that perfect curve ball.” Delepine also thought it wonderful that the ABCCL players were encouraged to give back and help out with the League’s charity, Camp Quality. “To have the young men give back playing a sport they love to raise money for New Jersey children with special needs (Camp Quality benefits children with cancer), it is all good.
What Does It Mean To Be An ABCCL Host Family?
- You provide your guest a place to sleep.
- Your guest joins you at family meals when he is present. He will miss at least 50% of them because of baseball games, practice, work, and social activities. He will be responsible for his own meals for those times.
- You don’t have to worry about giving your host any rides. He will have his own car or a carpool will be set-up to take him to work and his games.
- Many of our players were all-state athletes in several sports. They will be happy to take the time to teach any children you have some of the fine points of the various sports and to help as a volunteer assistant with your children’s youth teams (except when it conflicts with his games).
- Your guest will be between 18 and 21 years old (a college freshman, sophomore, or junior).
- Your guest will be a serious student-athlete from an excellent university and was recommended to us by his coach. He has a scholarship and is here in NJ to play competitive baseball to improve his skills and prepare him for his next season. Baseball and work will keep him very busy.
- Your guest will need to use your washer and dryer to keep his uniform clean. They will do their own laundry.
- If you are going away on vacation, we will provide temporary accommodations for your guest until you return.
- Our players are happy to run errands (including chauffeuring your children to their sporting activities) and household chores (such as lawn care, walking the dog, and anything else with which you need help).
- Your guest will arrive at the end of May and leave by/before August 3.
- Many of our host families and players form lasting relationships and stay in touch long after they leave NJ.
About the ABCCL
Entering its eleventh season, the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League is the premier amateur baseball league located entirely in New Jersey. Operating close to the New Jersey Shore, the league brings the best aspects of traditional baseball together with the modern athlete to create a competitive and instructive environment for its players, and a fun experience for its fans.