Youth softball returns for another season
Players from 11 Chester Little League teams line up in the Chester Park baseball diamond as they eagerly await the first pitch of the season April 26. Photo by Samantha P. Hawthorne
Eleven Little League softball teams occupied the Chester Park baseball diamond during the season’s opening ceremonies April 27.
The teams — which included five T-ball teams and a mixture of six girls’ and boys’ teams playing in the major, minor and junior divisions — were announced one at a time by Chester Little League president Mike Klimek, and positioned so that two long lines were formed in the center of the field.
Once all the young athletes were stationed, Little League mom Mindy Nicolson sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” while all in attendance lowered their hats and stood facing the American flag, raised by the Chester Fire Department.
Afterword, a prayer was given by youth pastor Rick Sylvester, and at long last, the first ball of the season was pitched by longtime Little League participant Brian Phelps.
Phelps participated in Chester Little League when he was a child, and now all four of his children are participating as well. In past years he has not only coached Little League teams, but has also been a very active volunteer for the organized youth sport and for the community.
Little League softball games will take place on a varying schedule, running from spring through mid-June. The girls’ teams will be playing at the Truman Collins Sport Complex Multi-Purpose Field, while the boys will be playing in the Chester Park baseball field. T-ball players will rotate between both fields, playing two-inning games, which are expected to last approximately one hour each.
The Chester Little League board of directors thanks the community and the Little League sponsors for their support throughout the upcoming season. Klimek added, “Chester Little League plans on sponsoring other fundraising events in the near future so stay tuned.”
While registration is closed for this season, those who were unable to sign up and would like to participate next season can look for registration to open up in February 2014.