Watch baseball and have an opportunity to win a car?
That has been a possibility for fans in Mason this spring.
Second-year coach Scott Berman has been on a mission to elevate Mason baseball on the field while also improving the game-day atmosphere and creating community interest.
And as a result, a fan will leave Thursday’s scheduled doubleheader with a new car.
“Giving away a car — that’s a first for high school baseball,” Mason junior Tyler Porter said. “When (coach) told us, we thought that maybe players would be able to enlist, but it’s only for fans who have driver’s licenses. Hopefully my dad has been enlisting so I can get the car.”
The car — a certified and used 2008 Chevy Impala — was donated by University Motor Mall, which is owned by Mason graduate Jimmy Prater.
The car giveaway was an idea Mason baseball announcer Ken Friend suggested as a way to help the program during a discussion with Prater before the season. And Berman believes it has accomplished its goal.
Fans with driver’s licenses were able to register for the car drawing during each home game this spring. They could register twice during a game and and as many as four times during a doubleheader.
“We’d love to see more people come out to the games, but I believe selfishly that there is no better baseball game-day experience in the state of Michigan other than the one that exists in Mason,” Berman said. “For us to be giving away a car and providing a discount on their auto insurance for a year, (that’s big). The quality of announcing with Ken Friend is good. We have a truly professional announcer.
“The music and walk-up songs and the announcements and time and preparation that goes into not just announcing the games, but providing a backlog story, really just makes it a better event for everybody. It’s something I think is equally as important as the improvements we’ve made in the quality of play.”
• LEARNING ON THE FLY: It’s been nearly two decades since Ashley Seals played soccer. And many of her players lacked experience in the sport.
That’s made Carson City-Crystal’s debut season of girls soccer a learning experience for all this spring. Martine Snerthammer, a foreign exchange student from Norway, is one of the most experienced players for the Eagles and has helped with teaching the game.
“We’ve definitely been getting better game by game,” said Seals, who also coaches volleyball at Carson City-Crystal. “I remember our first game and that was obviously the first soccer game I’d ever coached and probably one of the first high school girls games I’d ever seen. For most of them, it’s first game they played in and first game they had seen. It’s definitely been interesting to see how much better they’ve gotten over ever single game.”
Carson City-Crystal, which recorded a victory over Chesaning in its second game, has 19 players on its inaugural roster. Seals hopes to see the program continue to grow.
“I think especially this year it’s important for girls to see how much fun we’re actually having and that it’s something different,” Seals said. “I think that’s going to generate some numbers.”
AWARD RECIPIENTS: A pair of area seniors are among 41 golf caddies in the state to receive the Chick Evans Scholarship. Lansing Catholic’s Jeffery Lorencen and homeschooled Gregory Winter of Lansing were honored with the scholarship.
Both caddied at the Country Club of Lansing and will attend Michigan State.
• SIGNINGS: Laingburg’s Alexis Snider recently signed to play volleyball at Lawrence Tech, while St. Johns’ Chloe Waszak signed with Albion to play basketball.