Hundreds of fans gathered at Carlton Drake Park for the start of the 2018 campaign
Old Man Winter seems finally to have given up his grip on the Lake Region after a long run.
Although the weather wasn’t as summery at the previous Saturday, maple buds could be seen on the hills and the skies above were sunny as the Wallenpaupack Area Little League season got underway on April 21.
Festooned in a myriad of colored uniforms, players representing 30 or so of the teams in the league made their way on to John Myers Memorial Softball Field, newly renovated and additionally re-dedicated in honor of Daniel E. Fagan.
What initially began as a restoration of the dugouts by Eagle Scout candidate Lester “Trey” Atraeu from Troop 158 in Newfoundland, rapidly exploded into a full-on redux of the entire complex.
Masonry, concrete, new dirt, new fences, and much more were all donated, along with the labor to revive the tired diamond.
Work commenced last fall and, in spite of the not-so-like spring weather, still was completed in time for opening day.
“We thought about not starting the project until this spring,” said league president Sam Gurian. “But, we were able to start last fall and we’re glad we did.”
Additionally, Gurian tanked everyone who got the other fields at Carlton Drake Memorial Park prepped and ready to go for the season.
“Not a single business or person we asked didn’t help in some way with the softball field,” softball commissioner Sam Laing told the crowd.
“Great people from a great community made this happen. I’m very proud of how the community stepped up.”
Prior to the first pitch being thrown out by members of the Myers and Fagan families, Lauren Mercereau stirred the onlookers with her performance of the Star Spangled Banner.
Members of the American Legion Post 859 presented the colors. Within moments of the call of “Play Ball!” ringing over the loudspeakers, the kids scattered, heading for their respective fields.
Sponsoring teams in T-Ball this season are:
Sports ‘N More Photography-Mets; Decker Hardwood Flooring-D’Backs; Wallenpaupack Self Storage-Pirates; Joe & Lorenzo’s-A’s; Davis R Chant Realtors-Nationals; Remax of Lake Wallenpaupack-Cubs; Hawley Diner-Rays; Earthcare-Mariners; Eastern Propane-Yankees; and The Sports Factory on NEPA-Marlins.
Rookie squads this spring are fielded by Lackawanna College Lake Region-Mets; Remax of Lake Wallenpaupack-Pirates; Spall, Rydzewski, Anderson, Lalley, & Tunis-Phillies; Prellco-Marlins; Will Clauss Real Estate-Giants; Wallenpaupack Self Storage-Yankees; and Hometown Automotive-Cubs.
Clubs in the Minors are sponsored by Davis R Chant Realty-Tigers; Stella Home Improvement-Marlins; Catmando-Yankees; Ferraro Electric-Mets; The Sports Factory of NEPA-Nationals; Decker Hardwood Flooring-Cubs, and AM Skier Agency-Mariners.
This year’s Majors teams are backed by Dutch’s Supermarket-Mets; Joe & Lorenzo’s-Indians; Corey Associates LLC-Cubs; Pike Co. DA Ray Tonkin-Giants; Sports ‘N More Photography-Rockies, Earthcare-Yankees.
Softball rookies are sponsored by French Manor Inn & Spa-Racers; DK Sports N More Photography-Pride; Statewide Abstract-Force; AJ’s Lazer Wash-Comets; Wayne Memorial Hospital-Riptide.
Supporting this year’s Minors are Stone Silo Foods-Pride; Wallenpaupack Self Storage-Force; Mercereau Masonry-Racers; and Gurian Tax & Business Service-Bandits.
Majors are fielded by ProCare/Pivot PT-Pride; Mercereau Masonry-Riptide; and Dime Bank-Bandits.
Play continues through June 9 at all levels. Playoffs commence for the majors and minors on June 11 with the majors champs being crowned on June 15 and the minors title game slated for the following day.
If the opening day is a harbinger of things to come, then it looks like a great season is on tap for everyone.