Clear Spring Little League starts season with celebration

April 09, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI |
  • Pete Lazich, manager of the 2010 Clear Spring 9-10 All Stars Little League State Champions raises their championship flag Saturday during opening day ceremonies at Clear Spring.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Clear Spring Little League players knew their potential.

Now, so does everyone else.

The 2010 9-10 All-Stars were honored as the league unveiled the championship banners to prove their success on Saturday during Clear Spring's 2011 opening ceremonies. The District 1 and Maryland state champs took the town to new heights by advancing to the Mid-Atlantic Region in Rhode Island last year.

There was no better way to start a new season.

Joe Micco, 11, of Clear Spring, played on the championship team and has high hopes for a repeat of last year's success.

"I think if we just go out there and play hard and have fun, we'll probably do well like we did last year," Joe said. "It would be cool to get two more flags hanging up there."

Garrett Embly, 11, of Clear Spring, also played on the winning All-Star team. He has plans not just for this year, but for future seasons.

"Our hope this year is to keep most of the nucleus of the team together and to keep getting better," Garrett said. "We want to go to states and win states when we are 10 and 11, then when we are 12, go to the World Series."

Garrett's father and league President Rob Embly said first and foremost, organizers want to keep the 175 players on the league's 16 teams enjoying the game. Kids ages 4 to 12 play in various divisions in the league, he said.

"We want the kids to have fun playing baseball," Embly said. "We want to teach the fundamentals, and to encourage the spirit of the kids and the spirit of the teams."

Embly said the rainy weather leading into Saturday put a bit of a damper on opening day. Workers shoveled dry dirt from a shed to a wheelbarrow, spreading it around the diamond in hopes of salvaging play time. Two major league contests and a rookie game were slated to go on as planned. But two scheduled minor league games were postponed due to the condition of the field.

Hunter Gazzerro, 8, of Big Pool, who plays for the Orioles, was disappointed that his opening game was canceled. He was especially looking forward to it because it was his first time playing in a new division.

"Last year was coaches pitch," Hunter said. "This year, it's kids pitch. It's like a new step up for me."

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