Editor’s Note: Brian Abbott, executive director of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association, sent the following letter to The Madison Courier, asking that we make sure Madison knows how much its efforts were appreciated during the recent 2019 45th annual North-South All-Star Series.

From June 19-23, the City of Madison, Madison Consolidated High School, and Hanover College hosted the 2019 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association 45th annual North-South All-Star Series. This event started with Futures Games on Wednesday, June 19, and 60 of the top high school underclassmen in attendance followed by a weekend series featuring 50 top senior baseball players from the state of Indiana.

The players were treated to an opening night banquet emceed by Madison’s own Nick Griffith and featuring IU Head Coach Jeff Mercer as the guest speaker and culminated with announcement of the Indiana high school player of the year award. Hanover College was a gracious host for the banquet and for lodging the all-stars. Thank You Hanover College!

That being said, the true all-stars of this event were the people of Madison. Visit Madison was very instrumental in the organizational piece of this event. Tawana Thomas and Sarah Prasil, thank you! I pray the good folks in Madison, Indiana, understand what an asset you are to the community. Your attention to detail and energy were key factors in making the weekend run smoothly.......your desire to put your “best foot forward” was noted by the IHSBCA leadership and the fans/parents in attendance. Thank You!

Madison Consolidated Schools Supt. Jeff Studebaker, MCHS Principal Michael Gasaway and MCHS Athletic Director Joe Bronkella, your foresight in bringing this event to Madison and the support you gave to your baseball staff were amazing! I have been involved with this event for over 20 years and have never seen a more organized and articulated effort as was displayed during this weekend. Your leadership was much appreciated. Thank You!

To Head Baseball Coach Tim Armstrong and his staff — Joe Jenner, Mike Modisett, Drew Frazier, Ryan Mahoney and Derek Wynn among others — I am not sure I have the words to express the selflessness and service that I witnessed over that five-day time period! The tireless efforts to fight the rain, prepare the field, and still do everything with class was not only heart warming, but inspiring to watch. You love what you do and it shows! Gary O’Neal Field looked amazing and all the work you did leading up to the series was impressive....new scoreboard, windscreens, locker rooms, and just your overall first class approach were noted by all. Madison Schools and the community, in general, are very fortunate to have you working with their young people and representing the sport of baseball. Thank You is not enough, but it is the best I can offer in words.

Brian Abbott

IHSBCA Executive Director

Postscript: Tim Armstrong, the head baseball coach at Madison, reports the citizens of Madison turned out to show their support as well. Armstrong said that more than 450 people paid to attend each day. In working with the association on planning, Armstrong said, they had been told to expect 350 to 400 spectators to attend each day. “Our whole goal was to treat these young men like All-Stars...,” he said. “...and to showcase Madison.”