7/30/2018 11:39:00 AM Stewartville teams win Youth 1st Team Award
The Stewartville Rebels 12U Black, 12U Red fastpitch softball teams and the 14AA Stewartville Tigers traveling baseball team have been honored as the recipients of a Youth 1st Team Award for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2018 Owatonna Baseball Tournament and the 2018 Queen of Diamonds Fastpitch Softball Tournament in St. Charles. Selecting the three Stewartville teams were the Owatonna Huskies Bullpen Club (www.owatonnabaseball.com) and the Gamblers Softball Association of SE Minnesota (www.gamblerssoftball.org) in partnership with Youth 1st, House Chevrolet, Federated Insurance, Jostens, Pearson, Cashwise, Bennerotte & Associates, Jaguar Communications, The Retrofit Companies, US Bank, Plaza Morena, Great River Energy and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund (www.twinscommunityfund.org). The Youth 1st Team Award recognizes positive behavior from players, coaches and everyone associated with the team (parents, fans and spectators). "We are placing the emphasis on how you play the game, which is ultimately more important than if you win or lose," said Mark Arjes, founder/director of Youth 1st. "It has become increasingly difficult to find and retain coaches and officials for youth sports because of the abuse that they take during games. We believe it is time to model and encourage values-based actions, creating what we call a conduct first environment where the focus is on the kids, competitive energies are kept in check and officials and opponents are respected." The Youth 1st Team Award (www.youth1st.com; @Youth1stMN on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) was created by working with umpires and tournament directors. The umpires provide a team selection vote after each game during the tournament based on the conduct and sportsmanship exhibited by coaches, players and fans. Teams with a positive selection to game ratio of 80 percent or higher are recognized as Youth 1st Teams. Teams are presented with a plaque and certificates plus tickets for all players and coaches to attend and be recognized at a Minnesota Twins home game at Target Field. The mission of Youth 1st is to connect Conduct, Character and Community to youth activity programs. Youth 1st is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Owatonna, MN. Youth 1st is an official Playball! MN Partner.