The season was anything but smooth. We started the year with 12 teams, but quickly realized that 4 of them, all made up of Barstool Interns, would be too buys to play on a regular basis. From there, we had to scrap the schedule and rely on coaches scheduling their opponent each week. This lead to 5 straight nights of match ups this last week as teams scrambled to get their 21 games in. I'm thankful for a good group of coaches. They stayed on top of the scheduling and made sure they played their games on time.
We added a lot of new, talented players to the league this year. One thing I often overlook is how great ISWB is for meeting new people and creating new friendships. Thank you for giving ISWB a shot, and I hope you had a great time. I'm looking forward to adding more players next year and building onto the great group we already have.
The All Star Game was the best we've ever had by a long shot. More than 100 people attended, the atmosphere was incredible, and we raised $1,300 for Whitley's Wishes. It was so nice to have a reason to get family and friends together for a night. It was truly one of the best nights of the summer. Steve and Riley were awesome on the mic. They kept the crowd engaged and entertained the entire evening. The night felt like a scene straight out of The Sandlot, and I'm so thankful for everyone who helped make it such a successful event. All I could do during the firework show was hug all the players and say, "We did it!"
Overall, the league took another step forward this year. The year presented us all with a lot to learn from, but also a lot to be excited for. The Speek family and Amerifence plan to donate a wooden fence to the league, and we will give the Dirtyard a facelift this fall. Dave Arland continues to guide me through the business side of the league. With his help and encouragement, I turned ISWB into a LLC, gained sponsorships for the first time, and began keeping track of the league finances and budget. He also provided me with so many great ideas and donations for the all star game. Thank you, Dave!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who gave so much time to helping this year.
- To all of the players, thank you for being so committed and competitive. You're all so willing to show up early to help, and that means so much.
- To our sponsors, Dave Arland (Arland Communications), Joe's Auto Sales, Jeff Cross (Omnisource Marketing), Dan Church (WeFix Indy) Jenny Gates Laughner (REMAX) and Amerifence: with out your help, there's no possible way we could have had such a great all star game fundraiser. Thank you so much for reaching out and donating to our league.
- To Steve Jerk and Riley Eubanks, you guys were incredible! From the moment you got there, it seemed as if you'd known each other for years. Your commentary was hilarious, and so much of the all star game's success is owed to you two.
- Thank you to my sister, Christy Jennings of Whitley's Wishes, for being at the all star game and helping set up. I'm so glad we were able to raise money for a great cause.
- Thank you to Michael Guillermo, Jacqui Sheehan and Dave Arland for taking some great pictures! I will get those posted in an album and to the website soon.
- To everyone who came to league games or the all star game, THANK YOU! It made me so happy to see our back yard packed with people laughing and enjoying the night.
- To Gregg Doyel, thank you for taking such an interest in our family's story. Your work is so good, and we can't thank you enough for putting the time into telling our story to Indy. You're welcome to come out to the Dirtyard and smack a few dingers any time!
- Thank you Madison Harris for being so patient when things got hectic this past week. I've been gone every evening since Saturday, and she's been holding down the fort. You're the best and I love you!
- To my parents, Debra Holden Dudas and Keith Dudas, who may have stressed themselves out more than I did to make the all star game as great as it was, THANK YOU! Without their yard and their patience with all of us, the league would not exist. I'm so lucky to have parents who get just as pumped for the league as I do.
- To anyone that helped set up the all star event, thank you! It was such a scramble to get things ready in the final hours before the all star game, but Christy Jennings, Patty, Jeff, Keith Dudas, Debra Holden Dudas, Madison Harris, and others worked so hard to bring everything together.
It's not possible that I mentioned everyone that helped (so many people offered their help in one way or another), so I apologize if I didn't list you. If you helped, please know I am so thankful for it. So much of the event's success is due to all of you! Thank you so much.
Congratulations the the 8 Balls on your first title! You guys brought the league to another level this year, and I can't wait to see what the other teams do to try to beat you next year.
Again, thank you to everyone for making 2017 a huge success.