MONTICELLO — A new training facility is ready to open in Monticello for softball and baseball players of all ages and skill levels.

There will be a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Jan. 15 at The Edge Sportsplex, 509 N. Main St., Monticello.

Owners Larry and Christy Rodziewicz and Josh and Sanga Bird are ready to welcome athletes, teams and families to their state-of-the-art training facility.

“We have eight tunnels that offer different skills including three for T-work, soft toss and manual pitching machines; three for hitting with virtual pitchers; one specifically for pitchers and a Hit Trax tunnel,” Bird said. “The Hit Trax offers all the analytics of hitting, a virtual nine-inning game, and allows the players to experience what it would be like to be on a major league field.

“It also has auto-feed pitching, which holds up to 300 balls in the attached hoppers. The machine will throw baseballs from 40 mph to 70 mph, softballs from 40 mph to 60 mph and slow-pitch softballs.”

The facility has been a labor of love for the Rodziewicz family. After losing their son, Chaz, and his best friend and teammate, Dylan Mullis, in an auto accident in April 2017, Larry and Christy have wanted to carry on their legacy and love of the sport by working with other athletes.

“I believe God gave Larry and me this vision in honor of the boys and placed all of the pieces together in bringing Josh’s passion and talents in His perfect time to create an amazing legacy,” Christy said. “We held a fundraiser for this purpose and it’s wonderful to finally see our vision come to fruition.”

The Edge will be open on weekdays from 4-9 p.m., Fridays from 4 -10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We welcome everyone, not just travel ball players or team athletes, we want rec players, Little Leaguers and anyone of any age who just enjoys the game of baseball,” Josh said. “It is statically proven that teams that have these types of training facilities are more competitive. There isn’t anything like this close by so we decided to bring it to Monticello for the entire community and for athletes in neighboring school districts. Our facility offers high-quality entertainment and training to help our athletes compete on a higher level.”

Monthly memberships will be available for both individuals and families but walk-ins are also welcome anytime during open hours.

“Members will have the benefit of reserving tunnels in advance but walk-ins will also be able to schedule through our online portal,” Josh said. “There will be private lessons available in both softball and baseball for an additional fee. Desiree Swaim and Hilary Walker have already signed on to work with our softball players who want to improve with catching, fielding and hitting.”

Plans are also in development for expansion.

“We have room to grow at our location so our plan is to add training facilities for other sports in the future,” Josh said. “The best way to keep up to date and get information regarding daily availability for our tunnels is to visit our website at edgesportsplex.com or our Facebook page.”

The grand opening will offer tours of the facility, registrations for annual memberships, and half-price rentals for the day.

“We are looking forward to everyone coming out and trying our skills tunnels,” Christy said. “We are excited to offer this facility to our community and share our passion of the game.”

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