By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Marlborough—All Star Sports Academy offers individual and small-group coaching in baseball and softball as well as a chance to play on travelling teams for students who are passionate about the sports.
Clint Chalk opened the indoor facility last September, focusing primarily on baseball, but this fall he expects to more than double the number of softball teams, particularly adding opportunities for girls.
The softball expansion comes with All Star’s new affiliation with the American Softball Association USA Softball program. That’s the group that fed into the U.S. Olympic team when softball was an Olympic sport and now fields a national team. All Star will develop the New England team to compete in the ASA USA program.
Chalk, who coached baseball in Florida before moving to the Boston area, coached and then became the owner of the New England Blazers, a regional Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) travelling team program. The Blazers have eight teams made up of about 100 kids.
Tryouts for the Blazers travelling teams will be held in August for participation in the spring 2017 season.
“The Blazers program is geared to kids who are really serious about playing, who dream about playing high school and even college baseball or softball,” Chalk said. “If kids have the desire, we will make ballplayers out of them, but they have to want it.”
All Star’s programs are aimed at kids from 9 up to 18, and it primarily serves the Metrowest area. Rey Garcia, who played for the men’s U.S. national team and professional fast-pitch softball teams, is director of baseball and softball operations.
Students participating on All Star teams, Chalk said, “are going to get their training and learn how to play the game, but they also learn such lessons as how to overcome their fears, how to fail and come back from those failures.”
In addition to the Blazers’ program, the facility offers clinics, individual and semi-private lessons, and coaching for small groups, which the participants can organize themselves. A variety of memberships are available for instruction and practice.
In August, All Star will send a team of older high school and college players to the Dominican Republic to play around that country against major league baseball prospects. Players can specifically sign up and train for that team with tryouts open throughout the year.
The All Star facility includes six retractable batting cages with 18-ft. high nets and no poles to affect play. The 10,000-sq.-ft. indoor field allows for both infield and outfield drills when the batting cages are pushed back.
Chalk noted that several area high school baseball and softball teams use the indoor facility for practices during cold and wet weather. Recreation departments for towns in the Metrowest area have also arranged for their leagues to practice at All Star.
This summer, All Star Sports Academy Camp will offer a program for boys and girls in grades 3 through 7. The camp, running from June 27 to July 28, will feature a variety of sports, including soccer, kickball and Wiffle ball as well as baseball. It will be offered Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and parents can sign children up for as many weeks as they want, or for individual days each week or even on a one-day, drop-in basis, he said.
The All Star Sports Academy is located at 72 Jefferson St. in Marlborough. Information on programs and hours is available on the website, www.allstarsportsacademy.org or by calling 617-999-9200.