Division Champions, Girls Majors Red Sox and Boys Majors Yankees were applauded.
Pastor Jerry Lewis of Apostolic Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church gave the benediction and The National Anthem was sung by Tonia Makowski. League President, Justin Krommes set everyone loose with some words of encouragement for the players and words of gratitude to the parents and volunteers. He asked for patience with the volunteers and the players, especially in light of new rules from Little League International that incorporates four year old players.
“This is a growing year,” said Krommes after the ceremony. “I’m just really hoping for patience and really want everyone to enjoy the season.”
Several sponsors were present, including MainSource and Valley Chevrolet, and mascots from the RailRiders and Jack Williams Tire mingled with the players throughout the day. Abe’s Hot Dogs and Quaker Oats provided hot dogs and Gatorade to the players after the ceremony.
“This is the largest number of attendees we have ever had at Opening Day,” continued Krommes “We had great support from the community. “
Amy LeRoy, whose son Patrick attended this year’s ceremony as a player for the first time, has seen her oldest son and daughter play through the ranks of T-ball, coach pitch, minors and majors divisions. Both play for their school teams now, and LeRoy said she was looking forward to yet another year spent at the complex.
“Because I love the sport so much and love spending time here, I’m really looking forward to doing it again for the next six years,” said Amy.
Amy’s husband, Rick, is starting all over again in coach pitch this year after coaching baseball for 6 years and softball for three. On his 10th opening day, Rick is happy that the tradition continues for so many players and parents.
“It’s great to see the number of kids in the program which shows me that baseball-softball is still the #1 sport,” added LeRoy. “As long as everyone is on the same page to make it fun for the kids.”