I’d like to personally thank you for coaching Kelton this summer. He had so much fun with this group of boys and Jesse and Will as his coaches. The boys really started to gel after the first tournament and by the third they played some good baseball. It was to bad that this last tournament in Iowa was canceled. For a young group they were fun to watch. They made some great plays look easy... and then they’d show their age and make some bonehead plays! Jesse, you and Will showed tremendous patience this year!!! There were times us parents were ready to pull our hair out with the mistakes the boys were making but you guys let them make the mistakes and then used them as a teaching moment. How you guys didn’t snap is still a wonder to me!
Kelton really wanted to try out for fall ball but Wendy and I had a tough time getting him up to the day practices in August. Since he couldn’t try out we would like to schedule some pitching and hitting lessons at the Academy. Please let us know when we can start doing some of the lessons and we’ll get some scheduled.
I think my favorite part of this summer was watching the boys get better each practice. From a personal standpoint, Kelton has grown as a baseball player and also as a person from being a part of the Blizzard organization. Just the little aspects of the game that he has learned is what I’m most happy about. Kelton has been pushed and challenged harder this summer more than any other summer in the past and it’s been the best thing for him.
Thank you for a memorable summer!
Adam, thanks for the video call tonight. You did great.
I know these are uncharted waters you are navigating, but I just wanted to let you know that you are doing an amazing job. I know it is a lot of stress on you and I just wanted to thank you for everything that you have done to keep the Blizzard moving forward. We are looking forward to getting back on the field. It will be an adjustment for everyone, but any day with baseball is better than a day without it.
Hey Adam and JT,
I just wanted to let you know how much Carson enjoyed Coach Clayton. He did a great job with the boys—always positive, fun atmosphere, but also was always teaching. As parents it was a joy to watch. It can be hard to balance keeping the sport fun, but also learning from mistakes, working hard, etc. Clayton took every opportunity—whether a kid on the bench, while they were on the field, or as they came on/off the field – to talk with the boys and give them tips.
Carson love his Blizzard experience. I asked Carson, out of all of his coaches (hockey, fall ball, association, etc) who his favorite coach is—and he said Coach Clayton.
Just wanted to share our experience--
Appreciate you all! Thanks again!
Dear Coach Barta,
Hi Barta, it’s Tyler Johnson. I just wanted to take a moment now that my season for blizzard has come to an end to say thanks. This was one of the best experiences of my baseball career, and I really appreciate you taking a chance and giving me a shot to play in your program. I’ve been an admirer of the Blizzard program since the first time I tried out, and that admiration is what kept bringing me back to tryouts after getting cut multiple times... so to be apart of this meant a lot to me. Thanks again.
I can't begin to tell you how much this season meant to Jac. I have been part of every part of his baseball days until the Blizzard. This has been the best baseball experience of his life. He joined to make himself better for high school, and summer. He came out believing he needs to make himself better this summer so he can make another Blizzard team. From the 1st meeting and sharing the expectations it takes to be a Blizzard player to the last game, he has become true BLUE.
Thanks exceeding our expectations and Jac will be back at tryouts this summer. We certainly hope he improves this summer too and has another opportunity to be part of your program.
Please thank all the coaches for providing a “great” experience for Leo and James. They were sad to see the spring season end. While they loved the baseball they also made new friends and felt very supported by the coaches—
We are looking forward to the tryouts and fall ball—
Hi Coach Barta and Coach Peters;
thank you again.
I just wanted to say thank you for such an amazing first season with the Minnesota Blizzard. I had a lot of fun going to all the tournaments and meeting some great new friends on not only my team, but on the other 15u team and other age groups as well. Also, thank you so much for helping me get a start on my pitching. This was my first legit instruction on pitching and I was so grateful to get the help. I still have a lot more to work on but this was a great start. Thank you for such a great, fun-filled first season and I will see you next year at tryouts!
You are a very busy person with a lot of irons in the fire, but you always seemed to find time to talk with TJ – when he was getting frustrated and noted it on Twitter, you immediately called to talk with him; you answered tons of college planning questions; you gave your opinion on different coaches and programs; you helped talk him through whether he should commit or wait; and the list goes on and on. You have always been there for him.
TJ is not the only one thankful for all you have done – Tom and I are as well. TJ would not be headed to Omaha this fall and his college searching process would not have been what it was without the MN Blizzard program and you! Yes, TJ had to perform and he had to work hard, but that is only part of the process. You also need to have contacts and know who to talk to and have opportunities to play in front of college coaches. You need to know what questions to ask and what processes to follow. You have answered more questions for us than I would have ever thought about asking before this whole process began. Thank you for all you have done and for all you continue to do!
-Lora Graumann (mother of TJ Graumann)
Johnathan has really been enjoying playing for the Blizzard! He has a great passion for baseball and I'm glad he gets to play with your team! He is very excited to play next year in college and we can't wait to watch him either! I know it has been a great experience for him being a part of the Blizzard Red team and has made friends and learned a lot... Something he will always remember, so thanks for having such a great program that kids can really benefit from... I know Johnathan sure hates to miss practice, but due to the weather he has had to miss some... He is really looking forward to playing in Utah in a few weeks... I only wish I didn't have another commitment at that same time or I would be there too rooting the team on.... I hate missing him play!!! But, his dad will be there with him.... Have a great tournament and thanks again for the email.... Sarah Urdahl (Johnathan Fleek)
Hope your fall season went well and you’re gearing up for some fun winter baseball/training. You and the Blizzard program have meant so much to Matthew. What a great experience he had. He really does think of you guys (and many of his Blizz teammates) as family. When he started playing with the Blizzard, I honestly could never have imagined the extent of the positive influence it would have on him. Both from a baseball and a personal development perspective. So thank you again.
-Charlie Fiedler (father of Matt Fiedler - attending University of Minnesota)
Thank you so much for continuing to have the Blizzard gathering each year. Cole looks so forward to it. He came home pretty glossy-eyed and fell asleep the 1st time by 4 and then again at 7:30pm until I had to wake him up this morning! He came home with so many fun stories. He mentioned that GOGO came pretty close to Dempsey’s energy level. Is that possible????
I know it is hard on Coaches, especially the ones that have their own families, to stick with traditions each year because of the time commitment it requires. We cannot express how grateful we are that you do this for our kids. Great memories for all. (please tell your spouse’s Thank you too!!)
Awesome year once again!
Joe and I went to the Miracle League game last week. I used to work at Courage Center with young adults 18-65 y.o. I still describe the Courage Center as “the job of my life.” It was the time I discovered what was important to me, and what I cared about most.
I still see some of the people I took care of at the Courage Center, and it is difficult to see them struggle with the constant and daily reminders of their limitations…..yet, they laugh and are so joy filled; so grateful for their lives and happy to see their friends and family.
What I was missing, though, is imagining these people as children. I just can’t imagine why I would not have wondered what their childhood was like…but I only saw what was in front of me.
If all of “my people” had an experience like the Miracle League….then I am so happy for them. The playing of the game was great, but to see the kids enjoy their “buddy” volunteers the way they did just choked me up. I had to turn away a couple of times with emotion. The parents overwhelmed me with their pride and joy in watching their kids play baseball.
But the person that stuck out the most to me, was Jesse…..a diamond in the baseball rough! His joy in pitching to those kids was disarming. He knew all of their names, knew what they could and couldn’t do; making it easy for them to hit the ball, joked with them, teased them, and when they finally did hit the ball he would let it go between his legs out to the field. At the end of the game, the kids all ran up to him….some in their walkers, one with a crutch, others with developmental delays….they all jumped up on him and hugged him in the way only kids can do where there are no worries of boundaries or what is appropriate and not….with all their might!
I cannot tell you how glad I am that I battled the traffic to get Joe there. He has not stopped talking about it. There was a little boy named Antonio that made Joe promise he would be his buddy tonight, and this morning Joe told me that he really hopes the game is not rained out.
Thank you so much for all of the good baseball Joe is experiencing with Blizzard….and all of the good people….and all of the good friends he has made. If Joe were never to realize his dream of college baseball, I know he would be so grateful for this experience. Just as the Courage Center was the “job of my life,” I see Blizzard as the time of Joe’s life.
You are doing wonderful work.
A big thank you to you and the rest of the staff, for all you did for Ryan this past fall and winter.
He made the Minnetonka High School varsity team, about which he is VERY thrilled..
All your tips, support and time certainly helped him succeed.
We are very grateful
Chris Helgeson (and the rest of us )
Hi Adam and Montana,
We just wanted to send a quick note to tell you how much we appreciate your setting up the Iowa trip at the end of April. The weekend was phenomenal – the kids and parents all had such a fantastic time. A lot of the parents had commented that they hadn’t thought it would be enjoyable for them because they didn’t know anyone, but each of these parents later said they couldn’t believe how welcomed they felt and how much fun it was. They also said their sons told them the boys were all really nice and made each of the kids feel like a part of the team. We were especially happy for the families who haven’t traveled with the Blizzard before – what a great way to end the year and get motivated for next year!
We wanted to thank Adam for the lesson when he showed Erik how to do his footwork for hitting (more parallel and step earlier). When we were driving home that day, Erik said he was going to have to work hard on that because it didn’t feel comfortable right away. He did work hard on it and as a result, has more confidence now than ever.
We also want to thank Montana for continuing to have Erik work on his pitching. He is starting in the season opener tonight and can’t wait to get out there. He’s feeling confident, excited and is talking about working on a change-up and a slider.
So, many thanks to you both! We know it can’t be easy to travel and leave your families for the weekend to coach our boys in baseball, but we really appreciate everything you have done for the kids, especially for Erik. You’re the best!
Lisa and Kenneth
If I haven't said it enough, I want to submit an official compliment regarding Joe. There is no one better suited to teach young baseball players than Dempsey. And it is sooooo genuine.
Beyond the fact that my Benny would list Joe in is top 10 favorite people in the world. Joe has ability to connect with so many people.
My goal is to build Joe's personal brand and become the private coach to dozens of Mahtomedi Boys. Drake Ouimet, for example, has found a love for baseball that you cannot put a price tag on. Joe has given him incredible confidence.
As for Ben, he impressed the 13AAA coach yesterday (caught live hitting for us) so much, he asked if Ben could play as a fill-in this Saturday if our numbers are down. He's barely 9 1/2. Pretty cool.
So happy you guys are in Vadnais!
Adam, I just wanted to let you know that with all the hard work David has put in over the years, he is playing for the Saint Francis Varsity baseball team. The coach pulled him up this week. He is playing 3rd base and Shortstop. David is still 14 years old, with his birthday being August 10th. The Blizzard has been a direct attribute to this happening for David as that our school coach ( Brian Julson) likes the fact that David has a baseball and bat in his hands year round. Not to mention that he plays advanced teams around the country. The Blizzard program has helped make this happen. David has been very fortunate that he has had very good and competent coaching. Luke Scardigli for Saint Francis has done a great job as well. All the talented coach's at the academy have been wonderful for David. Thanks for all that you do. A special thanks to Jesse for coaching David over the past few years...( since he was 10) on the 11U team. I remember when you brought Jesse in that year, he has grown and developed a lot in the short time and will be an asset to the academy for years to come.
Thanks again Adam for growing and expanding the Academy for the next generation of ball players.
On a last note, Johnny will be missed greatly. I wish David would have had the opportunity to have been coached by him at some point of his Blizzard years.
We will be in a tournament this weekend in Princeton MN. Have fun at the banquet.
This is Jim, Beau Jernberg's dad.
I wanted to write this earlier, but things get busy sometimes, and best intentions get put off.
First off, I want you to know how grateful Beau and I are that he was able to play in your program last year. If it turns out to be the highlight of his baseball, it was well worth it. From a parents perspective, it is refreshing to see a professionally run operation at work to instill core values, and work ethic. It was a lot of fun seeing Beau all stoked up to go play games/practice/work out/tournaments. He never tired of the program. Believe me, he bleeds Blizzard.
With Beau braking his ankle as a junior, this was his only exposure to college scouting. The more ball he played for you, the more he wanted to be able to play at the college level. I know a parents perspective can be tainted, but I felt he improved consistently through the season. Confidence is an amazing drug.
He ended up committing to Stout, and feels good about his decision. None of that experience would have been possible without your program. One thing that worked really well for us was to video clips of him playing, upload them to a YouTube account (we set up an account that was locked, and
could copy/paste the link in emails), and send the link along to coaches for evaluation. Might be something to pass along to future players/parents. Please pass along our thanks to Coach Pfeffer, as he was instrumental to all above.
I wanted to thank you for running a class Blizzard program. Leo had a great experience and grew a lot as a player and a kid. Matt did a terrific job. I'm watching his summer and school teams now and realize that the Blizzard spoiled us with a great level of play that we don't see very often in MN.
Leo and I haven't talked too much about next year yet, but I think there's a good chance you'll see him again at tryouts in July.
Have a great summer!
I heard I missed a great game last night! So glad you got to see it!
Just wanted to thank you for your encouragement and kind words you had for Will: we have seen a whole new level of confidence in him since making this team, and your support (and praise!) means SO much to him! We are so proud of all his work and dedication, and to see it pay off is really a dream come true as parents.
We appreciate all that you do for Will and for baseball...we hope he takes his talent and love of baseball as far as he can and that he always enjoys and appreciates the game as much as he does now!
Hope to see you soon and thanks again! Kari Vanderbilt
Just wanted to say "Thank You" for your assistance and watching Connor's hitting video. Also wanted to mention a huge "Thank You" for selecting Connor for the Blizzard as it was a great experience for Connor and family, really appreciate everything you and your organization have done for Connor and hopefully we can continue the relationship throughout his High School career. Connor will be trying out again so we'll continue to develop his game and hopefully be able to make a Blizzard Roster again but most importantly wanted to let you know your efforts and your organizations efforts are truly appreciated.
I just wanted you to know how MUCH Rob enjoyed being part of the Blizzard Elite this past year! As parents, we applaud the Blizzard program's leadership, code of conduct, emphasis on being a good teammate and your mission statement, as these very same components seem to be taking a backseat in many of today's high school sports. Thank you for creating such an outstanding program for these young men! We're looking forward to one great "last" year with the Blizzard Elite!
Well done at awards banquet today...we are proud to be Blizzard Alumni....your program and Kasey's hard work turned him into a solid young man with a D1 scholarship!
It has been a great ride and enjoyed every minute of it. Dominic would not be the ball player he is today without this experience but more importantly he would not be the person he is. He has grown up and experienced a whole new world outside of his old comfort zone, made new friends and learned to travel and experience new things that most kids age will never have the opportunity to try or the courage. We are forever grateful to Adam and Johnny for this.
Thanks for all you din in baseball and in life!
Hi Adam and M.B.A instructors.
I know that when I get a call or letter from a customer at my auto repair business telling
us we have done a good job or that they liked the way they were treated, the call was nice to get. Last winter my son Matt completed your 10 session hitting lesson package with Joe Dempsey as the instructor. From getting to know Joe, Jesse and other instructors by hanging out at the academy during the lessons I could tell they were baseball smart, liked to see progress in their students and related well with the kids. Before starting the lessons last winter I mentioned Matt would be needing help because he would be trying out for the Woodbury High School 9th grade team as a 14 year old. All his and team mates are 15 year olds. (He did make the team)
Matt has been hitting well and I know it has to do with the time he spent with Joe at lessons. Joe worked with him on mechanics and the mental tools needed for success at the plate. He was telling him he was a big kid so play big baseball. I've seen more doubles and hits this year. Last evening was very exciting, with two runners on, Matt drove a ball over the center field fence for a 3 run home run. None of the 15 year olds have done that. However, I had not arrived to the game to see it yet. The other Dads had to tell me about it. (DARN) I did get to see him hit one over the left fielder to the fence
at his next at bat.
So this is a e-mail to say you guys do a great job and tell Joe that Matt is playing a lot
bigger baseball from his help and really enjoying it.