Every season ,the baseball and softball teams go down to Florida to play about one quarter of their season in the warm weather. While this is a very important part of their season and is an annual event, this does not mean that it is free.
Both teams have a variety of ways that they pay for the trip. Assistant Athletic Director Abe Osheyack said, “There is some money from the athletic department, they do have to pay a significant portion out of pocket, and there are some fundraising opportunities available.”
The players have to pay a significant amount of money out of pocket to pay for the trip to Florida. When talking about the cost, senior Connor Johnson said, “It is exactly $1,200 from every player.” Despite the fact that is a significant amount money for the average college student, Johnson also said, “We have to pay in full, actually. It’s tough for most guys, I would say.”
Although it is expensive, Johnson said, “I love it, it’s probably my favorite time of year.”
The baseball team is not the only team that makes the trip down to Florida; the softball team does as well. Softball players and baseball players alike have to pay a significant portion of the trip out of pocket.
Coach Carrah Fisk Hennessey said, “Each player is responsible for paying no more than, and I’ve been fortunate to cap it at $900.”
The team does have fundraising opportunities available. “We do a fall skills clinic, we chaperone a middle school activity night, we do a winter skills clinic, we participate in a mailing fundraiser,” Hennessy said.
The athletic department is minorly involved in the fundraising. It is mostly up to the teams and coaches in terms of what they do for fundraising.
Osheyack said, “We do have a look at it to make sure it’s in compliance with Keene State policy, USNH policy, NCAA policy, but if a coach has an idea and it does not fall afoul of any of those guidelines, we will more or less let them do it.”
In addition to the 900 dollars the players pay, there is fundraising and some funding from the athletic department Henneseey said, “The week itself, the 10 games, cost about $20,000.”
That money is a lot for a team to go down to Florida, and it is tough for college students to pay, but once the fee is paid, the trip is all-inclusive.
Hennessey said, “Everything is included in that, including meals, lodging, transportation, tournament entry fees, practice fees, field space and flights.”
The cost of the trip is not a fixed rate, and does depend on multiple factors, one of which is the amount of fundraising that the team is able to do Another is the cost of the flights, which fluctuate from year to year.
When asked about how much money the athletic department contributes to the trip, Osheyack said, “To be honest, I don’t know, I don’t handle the department finances.”
Both the teams will head down to Florida soon with baseball’s first game on March 8 and softballs on March 10.
Austin Smith can be contacted