Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Consider it the unofficial start to the summer sports season in Eau Claire. The Express open up the 2012 campaign on Wednesday when they face the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
This year's squad will feature a number of familiar faces, with eight players returning for Dale Varsho's club, including last year's team MVP Ty Forney, as well as Eau Claire Memorial grad Will Fadness. Varsho says it's the Eau Claire community that entices players to come back.
I think it's just how we treat them, how the community treats them," says Varsho. "I think they just really enjoy Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I think they get treated well by us, they get fed well by us, the host families have been great. And I think it's just overall, it's the direction of them just enjoying the time they have here. Hopefully they work hard and have the right attitude to come and try to get better."
Varsho says he'll rely on the veterans to help the players who are new to the Northwoods League, especially early in the season.
"The veterans really need to let everybody know how things work. How to get fed, how the bus rides work. It really is a grind, but they have to help out the process of knowing what it takes to be successful on the field and off the field and making sure you're playing at 100-percent. If they can do that and kind of take them under their wing, and show them the ropes, we should be successful," adds Varsho.
Eau Claire opens the season May 30th against Wisconsin. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Carson Park.
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