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In a league of his own

Scot Raffelson spent most of his life in California; however, Falconís wide-open spaces, small-town, friendly atmosphere and his commitment to Little League keep him grounded on the prairie.Raffelson was born in San Jose, California; and, when he was 5 years old, his family moved to Modesto, California and later to the Midwest. His parents divorced in 1974, and Raffelson, his mom and two sisters moved back to San Jose.Four years later, Raffelsonís mom remarried, and he gained two step-brothers.In his senior year in high school, Raffelson became a People to People ambassador. ìPeople to People is a program that tries to connect youth to other cultures to help them understand there is something broader than themselves,î Raffelson said.He spent six weeks in Asia, including Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea.In September 1986, Raffelson began attending West Valley Community College, while working security at TRW, a high technology firm. Raffelson stayed at West Valley Community College for one semester before switching to San Jose State University, where he double majored in biology and chemistry; with hopes of becoming a high school teacher. However, in the early 90s he received an offer from ESL to work in programmed security for classified contracts. ìIt was a day job and paid really, really well,î he said. ìI loved it.î Raffelson moved into a house in Milpitas, California, with three others. At a barbecue they hosted, Raffelson met his future wife, Aleigh.In 1995, Raffelson was promoted to property manager at ESL, and the following year he asked Aleigh to marry him. The couple married June 29, 1996, in Reno, Nevada. Shortly after they were married, Raffelson became involved in competitive softball. ìI used to play four nights a week and every weekend,î he said. ìWe would travel to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Washington and Michigan.î Raffelson played competitive softball until about two years ago, he said.By 1998, Raffelson had put in 10 years with ESL and felt it was time to move on. He began to network with friends and accepted a job offer from Titan Data Systems as a logistics property manager. He ended up on a contract for Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, and the Raffelsons bought their first house in the eastern part of the Springs. They were surprised at the friendly neighbors. ìThis guy comes over from across the street and unlocks the door for us and offered to help us unload our stuff,î he said. ìWe were surprised because we were from northern California, where neighbors didnít talk to neighbors.îIn 2001, Raffelson took a job as a logistics engineer for Relera, a data warehouse company based in Denver. Just a few months after he started, the company restructured and eliminated 80 percent of workers ó and Raffelson was among those laid off. Raffelsonís wife, who was pregnant at the time, was also laid off.The September 11 terrorist attacks stymied the job market, and most companies tied with the Department of Defense were not hiring so Raffelson went to work for a high-end makeup company in Colorado Springs, as an inventory control manager. After one year, he went back to the DoD business through a job with SI International in Colorado Springs.In 2003, the Raffelsons had a second child.In June 2005, Raffelson accepted a job as a subcontract administrator with Booz Allen Hamilton in Colorado Springs. ìSix months later, the Raffelsons moved to Falcon. In search of more elbow room, they bought a home in The Gables housing development. ìWe moved in, and we were the third house built in the neighborhood,î he said.That same year, Raffelson started coaching his daughterís T-ball team in the High Plains Little League. He took a break for one year, and returned to coaching in the High Plains Little League in 2008. ìThatís when I really started meeting people out here in Falcon,î he said. ìI met great people who I am still friends with today.îThe Rafflesons welcomed their third child in June 2010.Over the years, Raffelson has been the coach of both of his sonsí teams and at every level within the league. In 2012, the league asked Raffelson to become a board director. The following year, he served as the leagueís president and still holds that position today. Last year, Raffelson said High Plains Little League signed an agreement with El Paso County for a baseball field at the planned Falcon Regional Park. Raffelson said the league has pledged $60,000 toward the new park. ìThe baseball field will be High Plains Little Leagueís home,î he said. ìWe have been looking for five years for a place to build a field.îRaffelson said the league has had to rent several of the fields within District 49 to accommodate the 300 to 350 kids who participate each year. ìWe want to build a sense of community,î he said. ìThatís what Little League is about. When you play at seven different fields, you donít have it.îIn 2014, Raffelson said High Plains Little League offered 12 scholarships, available to families eligible for the federal lunch program. ìThe scholarship is a refund process so you still have to register and notify us that you are part of it,î he said. ìThen, we prioritize what levels and give 50 percent of your registration back to you.î This year, the league built in a membership fee of $3 a household to help make the scholarship program self-sustaining, Raffelson said. ìRight now, we have sponsors who donate just to the scholarship,î he said. ìWe truly do work hard to focus on the kids.îWhen Raffelson is not busy with baseball, work or spending time with his family, he enjoys running. ìIím not very fast, but I enjoy it,î he said. ìJust some quiet time. Just me.î

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