Written by Victoria Espinoza
The Mineola High School Varsity Baseball team is selling Christmas Trees, wreaths and holiday flowers beginning this weekend to raise money for a trip down to spring training in Florida this coming April. The Holiday Plant Sale takes places this Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5 p.m. at Mineola High School.
“We’re really hoping that the team raises enough money where each player doesn’t need to pay for any part of the trip out of pocket,” team head coach Helms Boringher said, adding that the estimated cost per player is about $1,000.
Boringher chose Dodger Town as the location in which the players were to train for two reasons: the facility has everything on location, such as lodging, meals, batting cages, fields and practice facilities, so there would be no need for excess transportation.
The second reason has to do with Boringher’s connection to the town. A former Minor League Baseball player, he played with the LA Dodgers for three years when their minor-league affiliate at the time was located in Florida.
“It is a little bit like going down memory lane, which is also exciting,” he said.
Boringher still has friends in the area and hopes that he will be able to get in contact with them and see if they can come train with the boys or speak to them about their careers as coaches now.
“I think kids need some type of goal to go for, to motivate them, and that’s how this trip idea was formed,” he said. “When the senior players were sophomores, I promised that come senior year, if they tried their hardest for the next two years, I would make sure to reward them in some way.”
And the players progressed each year, going from four wins in 2012 to seven wins in 2013. Boringher is very optimistic that this trip will motivate the team to try their hardest in the Spring 2014 season.
“This trip will be a nice way for us to sharpen our skills with little distractions and bond as a team,” he said. “It’s great to have the support of the administration and the athletic department as well, they have even bought some plants from us.
Eileen Lusardi, whose son plays on the team, as well as many other moms, volunteered their time to help sell the holiday plants this weekend as the players help tie the Christmas tress to shoppers cars. There will also be a bake sale.