B y Jaime Thomas
Blue skies and hot sun created a picture perfect day for the Little League parade on Sunday.
A large crowd lined the route from Main Street down to Richards Memorial Park to watch the colorful procession of teams.
Once the large group had gathered at a Little League field at the far end of the park, the opening ceremonies began. Parents, coaches and players listened to the Granville High School band play Star-Spangled Banner, and then Mayor Brian LaRose gave a speech.
“Little League baseball is a piece of American pie,” he said, going on to thank all the community members who have put in effort to make the activity run smoothly. Many volunteers, from those who run the concession stand to those who coach the kids, were mentioned.
“I want us to remember why we’re here,” LaRose said, “Winning is more than just the final score.” LaRose introduced various Little League committee members, all of whom have donated a healthy chunk of time to the activity.
When it was Denise Davies turn to talk, she took the opportunity to ask for more help with the concession stand, which is run entirely by volunteers. She said this year it is people who don’t have children in the league who will be selling food and drink, so parents and grandparents can watch the games instead.
Kathy Juckett, another committee member, updated the crowd on everything new with Little League this year. She mentioned what a sense of community the activity brings about, especially since it is open to children in surrounding towns. And she said Granville continues to have the largest program of its type in the area.
“We want to emphasize that this program is about every kid in the community,” Juckett said.
She also expressed gratitude that the fields now have portable toilets this year, which have been sorely missed in the past.
LaRose stressed several times how grateful he is to the people that run the program and said the essence of Granville Little League is volunteers.
At the close of the ceremony the Little League pledge was read and the opening softball and baseball were thrown. Each team then had an opportunity to play exhibition games, which consisted of just a couple of innings, and the t-ball players used a brand new field.