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Letter from the President: Working Together This Season

By Phil Carona, 04/27/21, 8:00PM CDT


Hello Stars Nation!

It's so great to see all of our players on the field and to see all of the hard winter work paying off.  I can't tell you how proud I am of each of our players, coaches and teams, and look forward to witnessing the progression this year.  This year also brings some unique challenges that we need your help to work through to make this season a success.  Please take a few minutes to read through the following topics.
COVID-19: With ever-changing regulations and guidance both locally and across the country, we will inevitably continue to work through situations related to COVID-19.  We also realize there are lots of different personal opinions on the topic.  As an organization, our only concern is making sure our teams have a full season this year!  If that means we need to wear masks for a couple hours, then that's what we need to do.  For now, that's what the State of Illinois is saying coaches, fans and players in the dugout need to do.  You can find more details here.  We all look forward to the day when this is in our rear view mirror, but until then we ask you to follow these guidelines, even if you're already vaccinated, if you plan to attend our games.
Umpire Shortage: directly related to COVID-19 is a shortage of umpires across the state for youth sports.  Across the state of Illinois, hundreds of experienced umpires have retired.  The umpires who remain are in extreme high demand due to more overlap of high school and travel spring baseball schedules.  Additionally, many umpires also officiate football, soccer, lacrosse or other sports that are now playing in the spring, instead of fall/winter like they usually do.  As many of you know, that means baseball programs across the state are all struggling to find youth baseball umpires.  First and foremost we ask for your patience on this matter if/when a game of yours is impacted.  Most times, coaches have options on how a game is handled, from agreeing to use a non-patched umpire, to a coach calling balls and strikes behind the mound.  Our goal is to have no games cancelled, but ask for your patience as we work through this.  And if you know of anyone who would be interested in umpiring games, please reach out to us!
New Facility Needs: as you all know by now, April 30 is our last day in the current Stars Training Center, and we have already started moving into our new home just a couple miles away.  We will be sharing more details throughout the summer, but are still looking for some help to get us up and running.  We are still looking for a painter, and help with graphic design and signage.  We'd love to work with any of you that may provide these services, and/or local companies if you have a connection you can share.  We're also still looking for couches, coffee tables, gaming systems, baseball related equipment, or anything else that you're thinking of getting rid of that would look great at the new facility!  If you have anything like this lying around, please consider us!
Lemmon-Hill cleanup: last but not least, we're always working to improve our fields.  We are looking for volunteers to help with a "cleanup day" at the Lemmon-Hill fields in Long Grove.  We'd like to do some work on the infield, cutting in the edges, and doing some general cleanup on and around the fields.  If you're willing to help, please email our fields coordinator, Steve Appelhans at, for more details.  
As always, we truly appreciate each of our players, families, volunteers and coaches,  Without you all, we wouldn't be where we are today.  Thank you in advance for your continued support on these topics, and everything else you all bring to the Stars.
See you at the field and GO STARS!
Phil Carona
President, Lake County Stars