By Anne Eickstadt

COURTESY PHOTO Belvidere Republican
In the photo, Chad Schwebke, BYB President, unveils the new signage while (L to R) John Ross, Louise Ross, Sue Fish, and John Fish receive recognition.


“On Sunday June 2, at the BYB organization’s annual Ice Cream Social Fundraiser, attended by over 1,500 people, Belvidere Youth Baseball honored John Fish with a service award for his 28 years of dedication to the organization,” said Chad Schwebke, president.

“John has served in various positions on the board from commissioner, building and grounds, executive commissioner, to currently his role as Vice President. John has taken great pride in coaching and mentoring young athletes in the community beyond just Belvidere Youth Baseball.”

“He was a staple in the YMCA youth basketball league for many years and is currently the head varsity baseball coach at Belvidere High School. John has poured his heart and soul into BYB and no task or job has been too big or too small throughout his 28 years. He’s been instrumental in ensuring the longevity and success of BYB, which was founded in 1958. Supporting John’s dedication through all of these years volunteering is his wife, Sue Fish, pictured with John as he receives his award.

“The Board of Directors also dedicated the complex to John Fish, and his long-time coaching partner, friend, and mentor, John Ross, who manages building and grounds for the organization, and has been involved for over 40 years. Like John Fish, John Ross has had the support of his wife Louise for all of those years, and she received the award with him. John and John are arguably the most influential duo the organization has been lucky to have during its existence. The two have worked side-by-side, whether coaching, volunteering on the board, remodeling buildings, grooming or constructing fields, or anything in between, for nearly 30 years. New signs will be erected at each entrance of the facility commemorating the service and dedication of John Fish and John Ross. The new facility name is Ross-Fish Youth Sports Complex.”

“25 years ago, my son started playing baseball,” said retired BPD officer John Fish. I coached his first two years in Belvidere Youth Baseball (BYB) in Pinto, then two years in Mustang, two in Bronco, and then in the Pony (now Silvers) Team. I also coached my daughter and have coached for a total of 24 years.

“People ask me why I am coaching the kids when I don’t have any kids in BYB any more. I enjoyed teaching the kids baseball so I stayed. I spend just as much time with…

For complete article, pick up the July 18 Belvidere Republican.

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