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England oversees huge CYB program
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Ceres Youth Baseball has a new president. Brian England was elected in September 2003. He's occupying a position that was filled by Jim Sanford for the past three years. Sanford retired.

"It's a lot of responsibility and hard work," said Gary Wilson, a CYB executive board member. "I think Brian will do just fine. He's got a lot of people backing him that have been around for a long time."

Added England: "I decided I should step up to the plate and help the league get better. I have some ideas."

CYB is considering expansion so all games are played at one site.

The addition of a fifth field within the complex between Field 1 and 4 would benefit a select group of players and parents. T-ball games wouldn't have to be played on a field at Carroll Fowler Elementary School.

"CYB, Ceres Rotary Club and the city are working on that together," England said.

England oversees an organization, which serves around 1,200 boys and girls, aged 5-18.

"Without (help from) the parents and coaches, we wouldn't have an organization at all," England said.

CYB's board features 23 people.

There are five executives, including England, Gary Wilson, Lance Goblirsch, Kelly Pond and Vicki Wilson. England is president of baseball and softball. Gary is vice president of softball. Goblirsch is vice president of baseball. Pond is secretary. Vicki is treasurer.

"We have one of the best programs in this area," Vicki Wilson said.

Board meetings are held every second Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Sam Vaughn Elementary School Library except during the month of July. May and June board meetings are held at Costa Field.

"I want to have a good fundraiser this year and buy some equipment for the fields," said England, who spends up to 10 to 12 hours per week on the average at Costa Field.

England has been affiliated with CYB for 10 years. His daughter Brittney, who is now a freshman at Ceres High and a member of the school's JV softball team, started playing t-ball at the age of five.

"She wouldn't be where she is today without CYB and the coaches she had," Brian said.

Brian also coaches his son, who plays for the White Sox, a team of 7-and-8-year-olds.

The 2003-2004 season started on March 27.

More than 1,800 people attended the opening day ceremony, including Mayor DeLinda Moore, Vice Mayor Lisa Mantarro Moore, Council Members Rob Phipps, Chris Vierra and Anthony Cannella and Ceres Parks, Recreation & Facilities Director Doug Lemcke.

Delinda threw out the first pitch for baseball.

Lisa threw out the first pitch for softball.

The league is comprised of 81 teams, including 50 baseball and 31 softball.

There are five divisions for baseball players: 6&under, 8&under, 10&under, 12&under and 15&under (Pony).

Baseball games are played on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights at 5:30 and 7:30 and Saturday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There are five divisions for softball players: 6&under, 8&under, 10&under, 13&under and 18&under. The girls play on Wednesday and Friday nights at 5:30 and 7:30 and on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11.

"Games are played every day of the week except Sundays," England said.

CYB's registration fee is affordable. Cost is $60 per child, $100 for two children and $135 for three children.

"Other organizations charge $85 or more per child," England said.

The CYB's annual Dinner & Dance festivity will be held at the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building on May 8. Last year's event brought in more than $500.

"This year, we're raffling off tickets to Giants games and an autographed Team USA softball helmet," England said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier