Westmoreland County Little League (WCLL) is off to a hot start this 2013 season. Player registrations are rolling in and plans for the season are coming together quite nicely. The league hopes to institute several changes this year that board members feel will provide a nice change of pace to what has become the norm over the past many years.
It is common knowledge that Westmoreland is the only local county without a legitimate youth sports complex. Despite this, Saturdays around the ballfields this spring and summer may provide that “complex” type of feel. The league is moving its opening day ceremonies from Hurt Field to Montross Middle School which has three fields available. This will allow all “Opening Day” activities to actually be held on one day, Saturday April 13 – rather than spreading the event over four days as has been required in the past. The hope is to create a buzz and atmosphere that has not been experienced in Westmoreland. By having three games being played simultaneously, dozens of players and hopefully hundreds of parents and fans will be at the Montross Middle School facility checking out the future superstars of Westmoreland County. Throw in a top-notch concession stand, T-shirt vendors, a dunking booth, and tons of other fun and this should surely be a day to remember. The WCLL board hopes to keep the excitement alive by scheduling multiple Saturday games at the Middle School and at Hamblin Field in Oak Grove throughout the season. The bottom line – more games means more people. More people means more excitement. This is the type of atmosphere the board hopes to create.
Young ladies of the county struggle to find a venue to showcase their athletic prowess. This season WCLL hopes to create “a league of their own,” at least for the girls ages 7 and 8. This new division, girls rookie ball, will be for female players only. The goal in founding this new group is simply to get more young ladies playing softball at an earlier age. For years now the number of softball participants in the county has trailed the number of baseball participants by quite a bit. The WCLL board hopes that this step towards promoting participation of young ladies will help to even those numbers up in the next few years. To make this opportunity possible though, the league needs at least 22 young ladies in the age range (7 to 8 years old) to register to play. According to most recent registration numbers, the league is approaching this goal – but still has a ways to go. Young ladies eligible for the league (as well as all other interested young athletes) have an opportunity to sign up this Saturday, March 9, at the Westmoreland YMCA and at CBHS from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With all of the new and exciting plans and events, the league needs more volunteers. Each year league officials struggle to find coaches. The umpiring duties had to be hired out last season and will be again this season because it became impossible to find enough individuals willing to call the games. The same few individuals continue to do all of the field maintenance to the county fields.
If you have some free time or can just carve out a few hours a week to give back to the youth of our great community, email Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org, call 804-450-3196 or stop by a registration table at the Westmoreland YMCA or Colonial Beach High School this Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get some information. Any and all help is very much appreciated. Remember – It is all for the kids!
Submitted by Michael Clark, President Westmoreland County Little League