Weekly Feature

2017-10-04 / Business

Epic Centers owner expands field, adds baseball/softball program

by ALAN RIZZO
Reporter


James Krolikowski, an assistant manager at the Epic Sports & Fun Centers on Wehrle Drive, discusses a new in-house baseball and softball program for young players that will make use of a newly expanded turf field. A graduate of Lancaster High School, Krolikowski has a degree in sports management from SUNY Fredonia and was a notable high school and college athlete. The program will begin next month. 
Photo by Chuck SkipperPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com James Krolikowski, an assistant manager at the Epic Sports & Fun Centers on Wehrle Drive, discusses a new in-house baseball and softball program for young players that will make use of a newly expanded turf field. A graduate of Lancaster High School, Krolikowski has a degree in sports management from SUNY Fredonia and was a notable high school and college athlete. The program will begin next month. Photo by Chuck SkipperPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Hoping to better serve the baseball and softball athletes who patronize the Epic Sports & Fun Centers at 2793 Wehrle Drive, owner Mike Weis has expanded the field they use and added an in-house training program led by a local athlete.

Weis said Monday that in response to requests from parents, coaches and players, he expanded Epic’s third field in May from 5,625 square feet to 9,400 square feet, making infield baseball and softball practice possible.

With the update comes a new surface made of Next Generation Victory Turf, which is free of rubber pellets, an element that has generated health concerns in recent years.

“You get a truer bounce on it, and you don’t have the rubber all around your building,” Weis said. “I’ve had this [turf] on all my fields for the last 22 years.”

With the field prepared, Epic is getting ready to offer an in-house baseball and softball program for players ages 6 to 15, which will get underway Nov. 4.

Leading that program will be assistant manager and local athlete James Krolikowski, who was a starter for three years on Lancaster High School’s boys varsity baseball team, earning a sportsmanship award and ECIC Honorable Mention award, and who later became an All-Region Player at Erie Community College, and participated in SUNY Fredonia’s baseball program and sports management club while earning a degree in sports management.

With the new program, Krolikowski said he wants to pass on what he’s learned as an athlete, because “no one has the same experience.”

“You can go through the same coaches growing up and all throughout college, but every single person will have a different experience,” he said. “I think it’s nice to have and share that experience and pass that on, because I think a lot of people can learn from that.”

Krolikowski said the program will start with an eight-week session, which will have slots for 36 players, evenly divided into three age groups: 6 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to 15. That session will be immediately followed by a 12-week session starting Jan. 16.

He said the program will focus on topics including hitting, pitching and base running, which will alternate from week to week. Weekly classes will be tailored to each age group and will be adjusted based on how players progress.

Along with the field and training, Epic is introducing new hitting and pitching cages for baseball and softball. Weis said the new cages feature heavy-duty netting and protective mats, as well as pitcher’s mounds and pitching machines, which are specific to each sport.

To learn more about Epic’s newly expanded field and batting cages, or to register for the baseball/softball program, visit www.epic-center.com, or call 565-3742 and ask for James.

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