Despite the seemingly endless rain and snow, spring sports are finally underway in the area. Baseball, softball, lacrosse, spring soccer and track and field meets are in full swing. As child who grew up playing baseball, I loved this time of year. I loved going to practice, loading into cars for games and spending as much time on the field as I could. Now I get great joy out of taking my own kids to practice and games. I have been fortunate enough the last few years to get involved with the Glen Dale Baseball and Softball Association and coach my kids. This year both my daughters are on the same team: The Glen Dale Ladybugs. This may be the only time that we ever get that opportunity and I look forward to what will be an all too quick season.
Not enough credit is given to the people who volunteer their time for these organizations. They give up a tremendous amount of their personal time not just during the season, but all year long dealing with a myriad of issues including all the fundraising, planning and preparation that it takes to run these leagues. This year’s officers, Kevin King, Zack Clark, Mike Finley, Mike White, Brandon Ward and Joy Vanscyoc have put in a lot of work and the season is only just beginning. I want to thank them all for all the time that they put in so that our kids have a chance to play! No one really knows what all these people do for our kids! Thanks also to all the businesses that support these teams, including Bordas & Bordas who have sponsored the Ladybugs for the past two seasons.
Team sports, whether recreational league or travel teams, are important experiences for kids. The experience of being on a team, working together and winning and losing as a team are irreplaceable experiences. Hard work, success and failure are things that we all need to experience in order to become better people. Seeing the kids have fun, learn new skills and make break throughs after struggles are tremendously fulfilling. I can’t imagine where I might be today without the opportunity to play team sports as a kid. In an era where there seem to be fewer kids willing to get outside and be active I would encourage anyone and everyone to try and get their kids out for the fun and the learning. Some of the best times I have had over the past three years have been with the kids on our teams and hanging out with the other parents. The rush and hustle and bustle of practices and games can be stressful on the parents, but the enjoyment the kids get make it all worthwhile.
For me I can sum up the happiness that I have from an experience last week. My daughter Allie has worked hard on her hitting and is starting to see the results pay off. While small in stature, Allie is tenacious. She has wanted few things more to hit a homerun. It finally came together for her last week. Leading off the fifth inning she swung hard, connected and lined a shot over the third baseman and in the left field corner. She was rounding second by the time the fielders go to the ball. As the third base coach, I realized she was going to make it and the look on her face as she rounded second showed that she knew it too. I was filled with joy as she rounded third and headed for home. I can honestly say that watching her do that was more fulfilling than anything I ever did on a sports field. To make it even better, Lewie Osborne, a local resident and photographer known for taking great pictures at local events captured it all! I can’t wait to get the pictures printed and have them sitting on my desk for the next 20 years!