Lake County Sidewinders’ six-year run comes to an end
News-sun staff report October 11, 2012 7:34PM
This is the 2012 edition of the Sidewinders. The program, based out of the Fox Lake/Ingleside area, has completed its six-year run. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA
SIDEWINDERS 2012: 16-UNDER
Head coach — Larry Lucas
Assistant coaches — Bob Sisk, Keith Dejong & Tom Noda.
SIDEWINDERS 2007: 11-UNDER
Head coach — Larry Lucas
Assistant coaches — Bob Sisk & Keith DeJong
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:18AM
The Fox Lake/Ingleside-based Lake County Sidewinders 16-under travel baseball team finished its six-year run in familiar fashion with a come- from-behind victory in the last game of its fall tournament n South Bend.
This was the last game ever for the Sidewinders, giving them a six-year record of 303-88 — including 23 championships (23-11 in championship games) 3 Illinois state titles, and twice finishing second at national tournaments.
“The past six years haves been an exciting and rewarding experience with this team,” said head coach Larry Lucas. “Bob Sisk (assistant coach) and I started this team in August 2006. We personally recruited players and had multiple try-outs that first fall.
“It was a hard sell to get parents to believe that we had the correct teaching/coaching formula to create a dominant championship team from the start, that their son would be a significant player on a great team, and deliver as promised while emphasizing outstanding sportsmanship and character on and off the field.”
Sisk agree that it was a memorable journey.
“Obtaining any field time and indoor facility time was a big issue at the beginning,” he said.
However, the Sidewinders quickly partnered with Grant Township to get a home field and built relationships with several schools and organizations to have multiple facilities for indoor workouts.
“This was essential to keep our costs at a minimum, as we ran our program at a third of the cost as the ‘academy programs’ but offered more coaching and practice time.”
The highlight of all the travel during the past six years was the eight-day trip to the Dominican Republic in 2011.
The Sidewinders partnered with G.O. Ministries, Inc. and played the best teams in the Dominican and performed humanitarian work each day.
“I know each Sidewinder will be successful in their life because of their courage and demeanor; some will excel at baseball well beyond high school. Passion, effort, and dedication rule the day for this group,” cited Lucas.