The Minnesota Sports Federation (MSF) in partnership with Youth 1st, Federated Insurance, Jostens, Pearson, Cashwise, Bennerotte & Associates, Jaguar Communications, The Retrofit Companies, US Bank, Plaza Morena, Great River Energy, Profinium and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund have selected the Granite Falls 14AA Baseball Team as the recipient of a Youth 1st Team Award for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2018 MSF State Baseball Tournament.

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 Youth 1st Program has been a huge success at the MSF State Tournaments,” Program Administrator Dan Bradley said. “The MSF strives to create an excellent tournament experience for all players, coaches, umpires, parents and fans at our tournaments. The work Mark and the Youth 1st team has done to create a positive tournament atmosphere is instrumental in achieving that goal, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with them.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Youth 1st Team Awards!”