Submitted by Robin Ward
OAKHURST – Baseball season at Sierra Mountain Little League (SMLL) has been on since late January, and is now in the final phases of regular season play.
Players tried out and made teams in our Minor A and Majors Divisions. Our numbers are up for the first time in years!
We had five Tee-ball teams, four Coach Pitch teams, four Minor B or Kid Pitch Divisions, a Challenger Division so special needs players could play this game we love so much, and two Majors teams: the Angels and the A’s.
“I am truly blessed to be a part of my players’ lives,” says Sam Mendez, Tee-ball Division coach.
We just celebrated our Closing Day Ceremonies for Tee-ball and Coach Pitch Division, which was followed by the sixth annual All-Star Game and second annual Tee-ball Tournament. It was an amazing game day watching these athletes play so well.
“To see my players grow throughout the season is what it’s all about, and to have shared such a bond with my team,” Jeramy Bolding says, as Manager of the Minor A Angels.
During the All-Star Game I witnessed three true double plays, all kinds of hits, and incredibly awesome defensive plays. The Tee-ball Tournament was so cute, watching these budding athletes run those bases like professionals. The fences were lined with fans wearing smiles of pride that would light up the sky. Each athlete received a custom SMLL pin, their team photo, a pin for mom or dad, and their jerseys and hats to wear around town as a way of thanking our sponsors.
“We have some of the best kids a coach could ask for,” Jonas Garner says enthusiastically as Manager of the Challenger Division, Minor A, and Majors coach. “I love our mountain community!”
We will be celebrating the Minor A Division and Majors on Saturday, June 13, and announcing our All-Stars for the ages 9-10 and 11-12 teams, who will travel around the valley representing our mountain. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and we will have doughnuts and coffee for donation.
“I remember growing up here and baseball used to be a community event, we had so much support,” says Jeff Bell, Manager of Major’s Angels. “I would love to see us get back to seeing community faces at our events.”
The winningest team in our Minor A Division will play Tournament of Champions at Sierra Mountain Little League Field on Saturday, June 13, at 5:30 p.m. Our Majors A’s and Angels have been in an all-out battle this year for first place. The records are so tight, it may come down to a play off! The winning team in majors gets to compete at Sierra Mountain Little League Field on Tuesday, June 16 at 8 p.m.
“We would love to see some familiar faces as the Angel’s or A’s take on Tournament of Champions,” says Bill Ward, Manager of the Majors A’s. “All our athletes work so hard, and hard work always pays off. It’s fun to watch the kids progress as a player, an individual and as a team.”
Sierra Mountain Little League was also awarded a tournament this year, for the ages 10-11 sections. From Monday, July 15 through Saturday, July 20, teams from all over District 10 will come to play for the sectional title. We will be having delicious barbeque from Supernaws, Coke products, hot dogs, burgers, slushies and raffles! Grab your sunscreen, hats and chairs and come support our little league by dining with us or purchasing raffle tickets. We’re also planning a 50/50 raffle so you could even win some cash!
Be on the lookout for Movie Night, a free fundraising event on Saturday, July 25, when everyone is invited to watch the movie Sandlot on the SMLL field. We are trying to save money to do improvements to the field, update equipment and get a new sound system, so we really could use your support.
I have had the pleasure of presiding over this league for almost three years now, and I am astonished at the growth of League, the strength and unity of our board, and the tireless efforts of our Managers and Coaches. I am always proud to watch our athletes play hard and work hard.
We will be looking for more volunteers in the next season to help for a variety of reasons, so we would love to have parents and community members attend a board meeting on the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. The meetings are held at Oakhurst Elementary School in room 903. For more information email Sierra Mountain Little League or visit Sierra Mountain Little League on Facebook.
Special thanks to our Sponsors for the 2014-2015 Season: Coarsegold Dental, Bass Lake Water sports, Round Table, Supernaws, AT&T, Parrot Cellular, Sierra Tel, Dr. Rodney Peter, Mike Allen Plumbing, Andrews Electric, Lehigh Painting, Skyline Roofing, Golden Hills Dental, Idea Printwork, Elite Auto, Camarena Health, Greenwood Heating, Greenwood Air Conditioning, Ahwahnee Heating, Walt Bannon Drilling, Campora, Oakhurst/Sierra Rotary, and ECO Pest Control.
Robin Ward is Board of Directors President for Sierra Mountain Little League