WASHINGTON, DC – – Host families are the unsung heroes of any summer college baseball program. As players come to the national capital area from all over the country to play for the DC Grays in the Cal Ripken League, it is a comfort and a blessing to have generous and dedicated host families willing to open up their homes for these young men for the summer.
This year the Grays were honored to have the following families host players from Memorial Day to the end of July:
Jeff and Laura Shelton
Eric and Laura Rizzo
Tucker and Tami Snyder
The DC Grays say “thank you” to these wonderful host families! Thank you for another great year!
Scott Burr has been the DC Grays housing coordinator since 2013, and the Burrs have been a host family themselves since 2012 – the first year of the Dc Grays in the Ripken League.
“Scott does such a great job every year,” said Mike Barbera, president and chairman of Dc Grays Baseball. “He works with both the players and the host families to make sure everyone has a great summer experience. It takes a lot of time and effort, and thanks to his tireless work we have one of the best host families programs in all of summer college baseball.”
August 1, 2019 | by: Cheyenne Brown; @cheytv_
WASHINGTON, DC – – The DC Grays have been fortunate to have developed great relationships with several top-notch college baseball programs. Brigham Young University, Eastern Kentucky University, Lafayette College, Old Dominion University and the University of Richmond are some of the programs that have sent excellent ballplayers to the Grays over the years. This season Wofford College sent three players to play in DC in the CDal Ripken League, and it looks like the beginning of a terrific partnership.
“Wofford fits our model of a core program,” said Chris Spera, vice president of DC Grays Baseball. “They have a high-quality baseball team as well as a high-quality academic program. They offer kids who can buy into our mission both on and off the field.”
Wofford and the Grays were first introduced in 2012, by Cory Spera, whom happens to be Chris Spera’s son and a member of the original DC Grays team in 2012. Cory now works for Head First, a company that runs show cases for aspiring college baseball players.
Wofford is a faithful participant in these showcases. Last summer, JJ Edwards, recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Wofford saw Cory with a DC Grays shirt on and inquired about the team. Edwards just so happened to be looking for a team in the Cal Ripken League to place their guys.
That led to Wofford sending the Grays three players this season – outfielder Michael Wynne, infielder Josh Congdon, and pitcher Rasesh Pandya. These players have thrived in DC, and Wofford has promised to stay with the Grays and to send them players each summer.
Wofford College is a private liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 2019, Wofford was ranked 72nd in the US News & World Report list of national liberal arts colleges. The Terriers compete in the Southern Conference, and had a winning record of 36-25 this spring.
At the end of every regular season, Wofford’s coaches will set goals for their players to accomplish during their summer season.
“Wofford prides themselves in developing their players. My coach thought the Grays would be the perfect place for me and the other guys to grow as a ball player,” Congdon said.
Pandya’s goal was to focus on throwing his fast ball more consistently. Pandya mentioned that in the spring his sliders were almost unhittable, but his coaches wanted him to command his fastball more consistently.
“Rasesh added stability and leadership to the pitching staff,” said Grays manager Reggie Terry. “While improving his own skill, he was also a good mentor for the younger guys who are less experienced.”
Congdon’s goals were to work on getting stronger by lifting more during workouts and improve his on-the-field stats like, his on-base percentage and strike out to walk ratio.
Wynne’s goals were to be productive at the plate – cutting down on strikeouts and improving his on-base percentage.
“The Wofford and Grays relationship benefits both teams. For Wofford, it’s a good opportunity for guys to go and develop and go back to their home school and dominate. For the Grays, it is a good chance to continue to bring in players from a good baseball program who can come in and assist the team in areas they may be lacking,” Wynne said.
The Grays look forward to adding Wofford to the list of core programs, and to have excellent Terriers on the Grays every summer.
“These core program players are the glue to the team. They help build a solid foundation and with years to come, our core program roster will grow and you can only expect the DC Grays as an organization to prosper,” Terry said.