The dreary cold and drizzling rain blanketing the area on Saturday morning could not dampen the team spirit of dozens of Little League players, or their parents and coaches, as the Barnegat Little League once again opened their season with their annual parade procession.
The parade featured players of various ages and divisions, beginning at the Cecil S. Collins School on Barnegat Boulevard and continuing the whole way down the street to the Little League Complex.
At the baseball field, opening ceremonies included remarks from the league’s administration and staff, in addition to raffles, giveaways and most importantly, an entire day of children engaged in the national pastime.
Jeff Moore, coach of the Yankees in the Minors Division and six-year coaching veteran of the Little League, said that he hoped to bring home the title this season.
“This is a lot of fun for all of us, especially the kids. Hopefully, we’re going to have a great time, a successful season, and win!” he smiled.
Little League President Jim Scott was equally enthusiastic regarding the season coming up.
“With our parade down to the baseball complex, this is how we start out the season each year. It seems like it’s either cold, rainy, or both,” he joked.
Scott explained how the kickoff to the season started at 12 noon, with games scheduled all day long thereafter.
“We also have vendors, concessions, giveaways. It’s going to be a good day,” said Scott.
Scott added that approximately 350 children were signed up for the Little League this year, covering a variety of ages and levels — from T-Ball all the way up to the 15 year-old Juniors Division, as well as the Challenger Division.
“This is all about the kids having fun and learning some baseball,” said Scott. “I’d also like to see us be competitive against other towns in our tournaments."
Sponsors for the local teams include such businesses as Barnegat Family Chiropractic, Bayside Dentistry, Jersey Rents, Sonny’s Recycling and WB Grant Agency.
Little League’s origins date back to 1939, when Carl Stotz, of Williamsport, Pa., created a three-team league to serve the children of his town.
Since that time, the nonprofit organization has grown to include charters in every corner of the globe, and serves millions of youth in 50 countries. Its three core values are “Character, Courage and Loyalty.”