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Raising money important for all teams' futures

First-year East baseball coach Karas preparing for May 4 fundraiser

April 17, 2012

Now and then when you check out our local papers, you will see information about sports fundraisers. Every sport has them.

The fact is in today's economic climate, many sports would not survive without their own fundraisers.

New Wauwatosa East baseball coach Brian Karas is going through this for the first time as a head coach.

Karas' first fundraiser is in about two weeks, May 4, to be exact. It's the 11th annual Friends of Tosa East Baseball Fundraiser.

It will run from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Tosa Room in the Muellner Building at Hart Park. The cost is only $20 and there is plenty of fun on the agenda with a silent auction, bean toss Baggo tournament, raffles, music and complimentary food and beverages.

Karas' budget basically covers baseballs.

His needs are not extravagant.

He is not looking for cool red leather baseball caps, with matching satin warm-up jackets. He is not asking for an exploding scoreboard that shoots off fireworks every time someone smashes a homer. No, his needs are basic.

He needs to buy bats for the varsity, JV and freshman teams. Two bats have been declared illegal this year - the Marucci CAT 33 inches and the Reebok Vector TLS 33 inches. These bats have to be replaced. He needs to purchase dry-fit shirts, to help soak up the perspiration, for his teams. And the hitting cage needs to be replaced (the Red Raiders are splitting the cost with Tosa West on that one).

A cage doesn't mean much when line drives keep flying through the sides or the top.

Karas has new assistants this year. Nick Blachet, on the varsity, has coached under Brookfield Central's well-respected head man Jeff Bigler at Whitnall and Central. Pete Schwichtenberg, who has worked at Marquette and Kettle Moraine, fills out the varsity staff.

Two former Waukesha North coaches, Ray Miller and Josh Hornung, will handle the JV and the freshman coaching position hasn't been filled yet.

Although Karas is beginning his first year as the head man, he has been with the program for four years.

He knows the kids, he knows what worked and he knows what hasn't worked.

"Baseball is a fun game," Karas told me last Friday. "It should be fun for the players."

Some of the areas he wants to see improved include having a better work ethic and taking care of the little things.

"When you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves," Karas said.

The Red Raiders have 51 players signed up for baseball this year, which pleases Karas.

"I give a lot of credit to our Jr. Raider program as well as the Tosa Baseball League and North Central Little League organizations," he said. "They are doing a great job."

Karas also talked about getting former Red Raiders players involved and he is now in a position to make these things happen.

"All I've ever wanted to do was be a head coach," he said. "If you take care of business, we are going to have a fun atmosphere."

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