Youth 1st Team Award

Youth 1st Team Award
Presented to: Acceleration 16U

(Owatonna, MN) (July, 2019) – The Minnesota Twins and Twins Community Fund in partnership with Youth 1st, Federated Insurance, Jostens, Pearson, Cashwise, Bennerotte; Associates, Jaguar Communications, The Retrofit Companies, US Bank, Owatonna Motor Company, Profinium and Minnesota-USA Softball have selected the Acceleration 16U softball team as the recipient of a Youth 1st Team Award for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2019 Down ‘N Dirty Tournament, hosted by the Eagan Fastpitch Association.

The Youth 1st Team Award recognizes positive behavior from players, coaches and everyone associated with the team (parents, fans and spectators). “We are placing the emphasis on how you play the game, which is ultimately more important than if you win or lose.” said Mark Arjes, Founder/Director of Youth 1st. “It has become increasingly difficult to find and retain coaches and officials for youth sports because of the abuse that they take during games. We believe it is time to model and encourage values-based actions, creating what we call a Conduct 1st environment where the focus is on the kids, competitive energies are kept in check and officials and opponents are respected.”

“The Minnesota Twins and Twins Community Fund are proud to partner on the Youth 1st Team Awards. Baseball and softball play a key role in the development of young people when the focus is on teaching life skills, developing values, and building character,” said Dave St. Peter, President and CEO of the Minnesota Twins. “We are thrilled that the Youth 1st Team Awards program recognizes players, coaches, and parents who model and encourage good sportsmanship and positive conduct in Twins Territory.”

About Youth 1st, Inc.: ( @Youth1stMN on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

The Youth 1st Team Award was created by working with umpires and tournament directors.  The umpires provide a team selection vote after each game during the tournament based on the conduct and sportsmanship exhibited by coaches, players and fans.  Teams with an exemplary score from the officials are recognized as Youth 1st Teams. Teams are presented with a plaque and certificates PLUS tickets for all players and coaches to attend and be recognized at a Minnesota Twins home game at Target Field. The mission of Youth 1st is to connect Conduct, Character and Community to youth activity programs. Youth 1st is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Owatonna, MN. Youth 1st is an official Playball! MN Partner.

About the Minnesota Twins Community Fund

Governed by a public board of directors, the Twins Community Fund was chartered as an independent public charity in 1991 with the mission to enrich local and regional communities by providing resources for the healthy development of children and families through an association with baseball, softball and the Minnesota Twins. The Twins Community Fund and its grant programs are supported in part by Target, U.S. Bank, Treasure Island and Delta Air Lines. For more information, visit

About Eagan Fastpitch Softball: (

Our mission is to have highly competitive teams with a strong emphasis on commitment, sportsmanship, teamwork, and knowledge of the game. This cannot be achieved without the dedication of our players, parents, coaches and volunteers.

See official Press Release here.

JUNE Player of the Month Athletes

Our June Player of the Month Athletes are two individuals who thrive on and off the field. They are great examples of the athletes we take pride in here at Acceleration.

First up, meet Ava Williams from Sartell High School.

“Ava works extremely hard at getting stronger and better for her team. She maintains a high GPA and also volunteers to big brother big sister and kids against hunger.”

Next up, John Huebsch - a senior from Apollo High School!

“John has had an innate passion for baseball ever since he was able to pick up a bat and ball and glove. When he was an infant, however, he suffered from a condition called Craniosynostosis. Essentially, he did not have a soft spot on his head to allow the skull bones to expand. This required brain surgery by Dr. Nagib at Minneapolis Children's Hospital. John was 10 months old and this surgery was designed to alleviate the pressure in his head and allow his brain to expand and grow properly. He fully recovered and had 99 stitches over the top of his head. A lot of people don't realize this and think his scar is just a haircut style but he would be glad to show you the remnants of the zigzag incision on his head. After this surgery, he grew up normal but had two primary interests. One was to play electric guitar and the other was to play baseball. 

He has played several positions for many teams but typically you will find him crouched behind the plate in his catcher's gear. He has a great respect for the game of baseball and expects the same from his teammates. He is glad to make the extra effort in any given situation and many times that means working with other players in an independent practice to improve their game along with his. John does this because he has an understanding that baseball is a team sport and he will always demonstrate support for his teammates. He will regularly show the proper respect for the coaches and the opponents and the umpires. This may be reflective of his personality but he is also in a unique position, as catcher, where he needs to closely interact with the umpires and the opposing players. He has played for several area teams and because of this he has formed friendships with many players from opposing teams. 

John could be described as a quiet leader. He leads by example both on and off the field. He has a reverence for the game and also carries a 3.8 GPA in school. He has a strong faith in God and is proud to wear a cross shaped necklace designed out of two intersecting baseball bats. He is a deeply caring person and relates well to those around him. He plans to attend Century College next year in White Bear Lake and has been recruited to play for their baseball team.”

MLK Day Clinic

With 78 kids registered for the MLK Day Clinic, we knew it was time to get prepared. Augie rounded up 10 trainers to take on the task. Can you imagine nearly 80 kids against 10 trainers? I hope they drank their morning coffee!

Here we go!

Augie introducing the trainers and giving an update on how the day will go.

Augie introducing the trainers and giving an update on how the day will go.

We had 62 players show and we are all excited to get started, especially the kids! The first half of the clinic, we warmed up and worked on skills. Only one bloody nose so we call that a win! The kids were given 30 minutes to burn off energy and have lunch.

Thank you to our sponsor, VOXXLife for providing snacks and drinks for our players. If you are in need of socks or insoles to improve balance and range of motion, relieve pain and improve all around performance - contact Dave Sutherland at 320-534-8753 .