Chardon Blizzard: Welcome

Introducing the Chardon Blizzard Baseball Team

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Welcome to the home of the 2013 Chardon Blizzard Baseball Team. The Blizzard is comprised of young men who want to excel in the sport of baseball. We have embraced the words of Jimmy Dugan from the movie A League of Their Own: "It's supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great!" We also love The Dominican Rule:  You don't walk off the island!

The Blizzard first started playing together as ten year olds in the spring of 2002. After a somewhat sluggish start, the team finished strong by winning a couple of local tournaments and competing in the USSSA Ohio State Championship Tournament at Grove City, Ohio. In 2003, the boys really improved their game going 3-1 at the Ohio USSSA State Championship and 4-2 at the USSSA AAA Division World Series in Kansas City. In addition, the team finished either first or second in a number of tournaments and won the Great Lakes Baseball League Playoffs.

In 2004, the boys went 42-21 as they played one of the most difficult schedules of any 12 year old team in the area. The Blizzard beat teams from all over the state of Ohio as well as Long Island, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. They also played in the highly competitive USSSA Elite Regional World Series. Most of the 21 losses were very competitive games which could have gone either way against elite 12 year old baseball teams. In addition, the Blizzard again won the Great Lakes Baseball League Playoff Championship and the Willoughby Boys Baseball Tournament.

2005 was a highlight year in many ways. As more and more teams added new players to their rosters, the Blizzard played a very tough schedule. Playing in the very difficult CVBA Open League as well as the GLBL League, plus playing in numerous high quality tournaments, the boys from Chardon finished with their best record yet - 48-21. The highlight of the season came in late July as the boys finished 4th out of 62 teams in the USSSA AAA Division World Series. In the process, they beat the Iowa State Champion and the Northern California State Champion - on the same day - before losing to the Northern California Major Division State Champion by one run. The team finished second in the state of Ohio in the USSSA AAA Power Rankings and eighteenth in the nation. You can read about the entire 2005 season (as well as 2002, 2003 and 2004) by clicking on the appropriate link to the left.

The 2006 schedule was the most difficult one yet for Chardon and may have been as difficult as any team in the state of Ohio. The Blizzard played nine games against five different teams that had won national championshps over the past two years in addition to playing in the two top travel leagues in Cleveland, three of the very best tournaments in Ohio as well as the USSSA AAA 60/90 World Series in Kingsport, Tennessee. The Blizzard beat some tremendous baseball teams (defending NABF national champs, Detroit Eagles, #1 ranked team in the state Cincinnati Flames, the Cincinnati Extreme, Southeast Missouri Renegades and the Tennessee Bandits to mention a few). In the mean time, Chardon also lost a number of games that, at least on paper, should have been won. The result was a 33-32-1 record. You can read all of the gory details by clicking on the 2006 Season link.

2007 was a much different year in that the Blizzard roster was totally revamped. With some players moving out of state, some going to high schools that want their kids playing on their own travel teams and some just choosing to move on to other teams, the Blizzard had to enter the very competitive "free agent" travel baseball market late in the "recruiting season." Nine new players joined five Blizzard die hards. Given the new relationships that had to be developed, the Blizzard fielded a very competitive team going 16-13. One of the highlights of the 2007 season was a big win over the Canadian Thunderbirds - who went on to win the 2007 NABF World Series in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 2008 team was comprised of a roster of nine 16 year olds, one fifteen year old and two seventeen year olds who played "up" in the GLBL 18U league and the Sandlott 18U league as well as a number of very good tournaments which included the CABA High School World Series. We won the GLBL championship by defeating the best legion team in northeast Ohio in the semi-finals and then, in the finals, run ruling a team that we had previously lost to twice.

In 2009, the Blizzard took on a little bit of a new look as we picked up a number of quality player from the Lake County Warhawks when the Warhawks decided to no longer have a team. The chemistry was tremendous especially by the end of the year when the Blizzard was invited to participate in the prestigious, invitation only New Era Cap Tournament in Buffalo, New York. Our boys were the number one seed after pool play and, after six straight wins over some of the best teams from New York, Canada and Western Pennsylvania, we lost in extra innings in the finals to the hand picked  and heavily recruited New Era team. It was an incredible week of baseball at tremendous facilities, including two games at Coca Cola Field, the home of the New York Mets AAA team. In addition, the Blizzard posted big wins over nationally known programs such as the Fort Wayne Cubs and the Wisconsin All Stars as well as taking the nationally ranked, CABA High School World Series Champion Top Tier Americans to 12 innings before losing 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th (playing without our full roster).

In 2010, with a roster of 18U players, we played in the GLBL 22U league. In addition we played a difficult independent schedule and competed in the best tournaments in the midwest. We went 28-17 with big wins over nationally known programs such as the Lake Erie Bulldogs, Fort Wayne Cubs, Dayton Dodgers, Philadelphia Reds and Michiana Scrappers. We lost one run ball games several times to teams that eventually went on to win the tournament and we also lost some games that on paper we should have won.

2011 saw the Blizzard finish first in the GLBL and third in the Tri-State Collegiate League. However, the highlight was a 4th place finish out of 16 teams in the prestigious AAABA World Series held in Johnstown, Pa. in early August. The Blizzard won 16 in a row and 28 out of 32 before losing back to back games in the World Series to the first and second place teams from Baltimore and New Orleans, both of which were filled with Division One college players and Major League draftees. We are planning a return trip next year only this time with a full roster and enough arms to win the whole thing.

In 2012, the Blizzard went 37-14 and finished first in the GLBL, 2nd in the Tri-State Collegiate League and 2nd in the AAABA  World Series in Johnstown, Pa. In the process, we beat the first place Toledo Hawks 3 out of 5 times and eliminated Youse's Orioles from the Ripken League in the AAABA tournament. It was the first time that they had not made the finals of the tournament in 10 years. Alas, after going 5-0 and needing only one more win to capture the national championship, the Blizzard lost twice to the New Brunswick Matrix (whom we had beaten and sent to the loser's bracket) to finish second.

In 2013, the Blizzard finished its baseball history with its best record yet - 41-8 - winning the Tri-State Collegiate League championship and finishing 3rd in the AAABA World Series. After losing the first game in the AAABA, the Blizzard fought back to win 4 in a row and make it one game from the finals. Alas, the elusive white whale got away. Hopefully, the parents and young men who participated on this team over the years will always remember their time with fondness.

Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. Let it snow!!!

Overall record in 2002 - 42-17; Overall record in 2003 - 40-14; Overall record in 2004 - 42-21
Overall record in 2005 - 48-21; Overall record in 2006 - 33-32-1; Overall record in 2007 - 16-13; Overall record in 2008 - 20-14; Overall record in 2009 - 23-16-1; Overall record in 2010 - 28-17; Overall record in 2011 - 38-19; Overall record in 2012 - 37-14; Overall Record in 2013 41-8.

Twelve year record - 408-206-2; .664 winning percentage