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Crowd helps start Maugansville Little League season

April 10, 2010|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI
  • Caden Reffo of the Maugansville Little League Beef 'O' Brady's team picks his bat Saturday to lead off the batting order on the league's opening day.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

MAUGANSVILLE -- Maugansville Little League teams hustled to the field Saturday morning for their season opening ceremony.

Brightly hued shirts and hats created a rainbow of color around the diamond.

Brett Hill of Hagerstown, junior league vice president and Shawley team manager, introduced the coaches and the league's nearly 300 players via loudspeaker.

Following the national anthem, an invocation and the Little League pledge, Hill counted to three and led the crowd in saying the words that officially would kick off the season.

"Play ball!" everyone shouted as the Little Leaguers threw their hats into the air.

Hill said children between the ages of 5 and 16 play on the league's 22 teams. He expected more than 500 people to attend opening day activities and games.

During the invocation, Aaron Miller of Virginia Avenue Baptist Church prayed for players to have "competition with a spirit of sportsmanship" and "faithfulness in practice."

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Kelly Colbert, president of the Maugansville Little League's board of directors, said the league is all about giving youths something productive to do.

"It's a social experience," he said. "Kids develop relationships through baseball that last a lifetime."

Colbert said many men who serve as coaches and administrators in the league played ball in it as boys.

Patrick O'Connor, 12, and his brother, Andrew, 9, each have played in the league since they were 5. Their mother, Julie O'Connor, said this is the first year her sons are playing on the same team.

"Last year, we had one in majors and one in minors," she said. "We would put our chairs in the middle of the two fields and watch two games at the same time."

O'Connor said along with teaching the game, the league teaches her sons sportsmanship and teamwork while they have fun.

"We love it," she said.

Brandon Clark, 11, of Greencastle, Pa., plays third base and catcher for the Brewers.

"It's fun getting to hang out with friends," he said.

His teammate, Jordan Davis, said the Brewers went 18-2 last season.

"This year, we wanna go 20-zip," he said.

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