Let the games begin: Little League season now underway
Dodgers, Blue Wahoos, Sea Dogs, Volcanoes, Raptors, Rangers and Marlins took to Weed’s Lobis Field Saturday morning to celebrate Opening Day of South Siskiyou’s Little League season.
Coach Brandon Burns and Greg Jewell of Sousa Ready Mix hurled the first pitches of the year. They were honored for their work building covered dugouts for Mount Shasta’s softball field.
Catching the opening pitches were Mount Shasta’s Horatio Maumasi and Weed’s Jackson Duchi.
About 400 kids ages 4 to 12 paraded around the bases as South Siskiyou Little League commissioner Parish Cross introduced the 35 teams, which hail from Mount Shasta, Weed and Dunsmuir. They all crowded the field as Senior Girl softball player Cami Brooks sang the National Anthem.
Gary Carr from the Dunsmuir River Dogs team, Jodie Turner from Weed Storm and Kyle Handshy from the Major Boy Cubs led all the players in a recitation of the Little League pledge: “I trust in God, I love my country, and will respect its laws. I will play fair, and strive to win, but win or lose I will always do my best.”
Parents then recited a pledge of their own: “I will teach all children to play fair and do their best. I will positively support all managers, coaches and players. I will respect the decisions of the umpires. I will praise a good effort despite the outcome of the game.”
After opening ceremonies came to a close, each team participated in a Hit-a-Thon, and players are now gathering pledges. Supporters can make flat donations or pledge a certain amount per every foot the player hit the ball during the event.
While some major boys launched pitches over the fence, kids on the coach pitch teams were satisfied with Hit-a-Thon hits that rolled 120 feet.
“Big thank you to SSLL,” said Burns after the ceremonies were over. “Opening Day was great this year. I am very honored to be recognized like this. Thank you all very much!”
Burns volunteered to take on the renovation of the softball dugouts and finished them with the help of Mike Brasch last week.
Their time was donated by their employer, Eli Jones of Alpine Construction. Sousa Ready Mix donated the cement and the labor to pour it, explained Bob Saltzgaver, SSLL’s softball representative.
The first games of the season were scheduled for Monday in Mount Shasta and Weed.
Following is a list of all the teams, their managers and their sponsors.
Senior Girls Blue – Kirk Andrus, manager
Senior Girls Green – Brandon Burns, manager
Senior Girls Red – Bob Saltzgaver, manager
Cubs – Jacob Barr, manager; sponsored by Subway Mt. Shasta
Rangers – Larry Stock manager; sponsored by Market Place Insurance
Marlins – manager Jason Ferguson; sponsored by Swenson Excavation
Owls – manager Dan Taylor; sponsored by Scott Valley Bank
Rivercats – manager Cookie Reynolds; sponsored by Solano’s Home Improvement Center
White Sox – manager Jimmy Palmer; sponsored by Andy’s Transmission
Sea Dogs – manager John Kennedy; sponsored by Shasta Brown Inc.
Raptors – manager Dave Kindley; sponsored by It’s All That & More
Stars – manager Gary Sheets; sponsored by Northstate Auto Glass
Storm – manager Brandon Cordes; sponsored by Cedar Lanes
Timber Rattlers – manager Jeremy Keen; sponsored by Keen Construction and Casa Bella Hair Studio
River Dogs – manager Brian Wilson; sponsored by Dunsmuir Chevron
Blue Wahoos – manager Lisa Morris; sponsored by Black Fox Timber Management
Mount Shasta Marlins – manager Ryan Vanni; sponsored by PremierWest Bank
Blue Jays – manager Josh Blankenship; sponsored by Blue Star Gas
Cubs – manager Kale Riccomini; sponsored by Angela Ferrari DDS Inc. and Alliance Properties
Dodgers – manager Erik Degraffenreid; sponsored by Say Cheese Pizza
Knights – manager Julio Lopez, sponsored by Round Table Pizza
Giants – manager Blue Yager; sponsored by A Cut Above Tree Service, Inc.
Sea Dogs – manager Danielle Lindler; sponsored by Black Bear Diner
Volcanoes – manager Jeff Scholberg; sponsored by Roseburg Forest Products
Giants – manager Ryan Mangrum; sponsored by Thriftway Foods
Cubs – manager Garren Hanon; sponsored by Kim Centeno DDS
A’s – manager Jeremy Porteous; sponsored by Acme Computer
Miami Marlins – manager Mike Kobseff; sponsored by BBQ Ranch
Pirates – manager Chuck Mahan; sponsored by M.E. Ramas, MD
Raptors – manager Jason Ferguson; sponsored by Longhair Collision
Orioles – manager Don Crawford; sponsored by State Farm Insurance, Weed
Padres – manager Jason Gunn; sponsored by Mike & Tony’s
Rivercats – manager Chris Kellar; sponsored by Shasta Family Care
Rochester Redwings – manager Josh Blankenship; sponsored by SW Maintenance Inc.
4 year-old T-ball
Bats – manager Erik Degraffenreid; sponsored by Ramshaw’s Ace Hardware