WARSAW – There aren’t many pings from bats echoing or sunflower seed shells pittering across the dugouts at the City-County Athletic Complex in January. But the complex does have several fresh takes as the calendar flips into 2017 ahead of plans for the incoming year.
The CCAC has brought in Kameron Larimer as its new program director. Larimer, a Tippecanoe Valley High School and Manchester University graduate, takes on his third week in the position. Hired by Karl Swihart to take over the daily oversight of the ever-evolving program lists at the CCAC, Larimer brings in organizational experience from Manchester intramurals.
Larimer has a lengthy goal list for the new year, including expanding on several of the current programs already in place but to add in some new wrinkles. New programs with hopes of an introduction to the Warsaw community include sand volleyball, kickball, dodgeball and some non-sports artisan youth programs, perhaps pottery and painting.
“There are days that the rec room here sits empty, so we could put something in there to make use of it,” Larimer said. “I actually saw online that some of the places around the state had pottery and painting, and were successful with it. I thought that would be different.
“We’re also looking at putting together some kind of church soccer league as well to go along with the church softball we already have.”
One of the bigger additions the CCAC wants to push in 2017 is the addition of a summer baseball camp. Jeff Himes, the park manager for the CCAC, will spearhead the week-long camp, which is intended to introduce – or reintroduce – the basics of baseball to kids who are looking to better grasp the sport.
“There aren’t a whole lot of camps around the area, at any level,” Himes said. “Grace College has one, and the high schools offer a form of it, but this one would be more focused on raw fundamentals of the game. A lot of these camps you find are out of the area and expensive, both just to be in it and in travel. This is right here, and inexpensive. This offers a more local and inexpensive option for parents.”
“There’s really nothing in the area,” Swihart said of the baseball camp. “Our tournaments have never been an issue, but we would like to see our leagues grow, whether it’s adult or youth leagues. The baseball camp is in addition to that.
“Part of what Kameron has on his plate is finding qualified instructors and help for the leagues and programs we want to start. We want these all done right, not just tossed out there without a purpose.”
The CCAC will still host its signatures in church, corporate and co-ed softball, and several major diamond tournaments including the BPA World Series, the NSA Girls State, NSA College Exposure, BPA Super State and adult Bronze/Silver/Gold tournament among others.
The facility, located on the RR Donnelly property on the west side of Warsaw, is in the works to be purchased outright from RR Donnelly to become its own entity. The CCAC has been leased from the city in partnership with RR Donnelly, but Swihart hopes to have the purchase completed in early 2017 with the help of donations, such as already-made donations from K21 Foundation, CVB Commission and Paragon Medical. Swihart noted the CCAC is about $60,000 short of its purchase price goal.
Swihart noted the expansion of the multi-sport building, sand volleyball facility, irrigation for the soccer fields and a renovation of the east concession stand restrooms along with adding a second story to the concession stand.
The CCAC is planning a radio-style broadcast that will be streamed on its website, ccacwarsaw.com, that will features scores and information on new programs happening throughout the year.