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Blair Garrett

April is upon us. The sun is shining, the last remnants of snow are finally withering away, and the faint sound of kids flocking to the ball fields are off in the distance. With the start of Little League season just a few days away, kids between ages 4-12 across Emmitsburg and Thurmont are breaking in the mitts getting their first taste of Spring baseball for 2019.

For years now, baseball has been the pinnacle of success for the local youth leagues, with Thurmont Little League teams winning multiple accolades and providing kids an opportunity to explore the sport of baseball in a fun and encouraging environment.

Thurmont Little League supports four teams: Tee ball, Instructional League, Minor League and Major (Little) League. Kids are separated by age where they learn everything from the basics of the game to the mechanics of becoming a great baseball player.

Over just the past few years, Thurmont baseball teams have become the 2015 and 2016 9/10 state champions, 2016 Little League District II Champions, 2017 9-11 District II Champions, 2017 Little League District II and Maryland State Champions.

Winning has followed this program for years now, and the Thurmont Little League will look to replicate that success come Opening Day on April 6. The involvement from players to coaches and down to the parents has given families a great outlet to teach and grow with their young little leaguers and may just be the foundation to the club’s success. 

The Thurmont Little League was established in 1952 and continues to be a driving force behind the love of the game of baseball in the Catoctin Area for kids year after year.

Registration may be closed for the upcoming season, but showing support at Leisner Field of the Thurmont Little League Complex is always welcome and appreciated. Come support your community and your favorite little leaguers as the teams aim for Little League glory once again.

Deb Spalding

Brian Mo, a WFRE radio deejay, served as master of ceremonies during the Thurmont Little League’s 66th Season Opening Day on April 15, 2017. The Thurmont Little League (TLL) teams were introduced starting with Tee-Ball. This season, the Cubs are being sponsored by the Thurmont Free Masons with Manager Justus Yocum, and Assistant Coaches David Ohler, Chad Hahn, Brandon Green, and Chris Cassidy; the Nationals are being sponsored by Roy Rogers with Manager Jon Barton, and Assistant Coach, Ted Belanger; the Orioles are sponsored by Tobacco Free Frederick with Manager Jeremy Johnson, Assistant Coaches Ryan Tokar, and Eric Renner; the Pirates are sponsored by Bekwarm with Manager Devin Bradshaw with Chris Santos, Josh Workman, and Chris Kehne; the Royals are sponsored by Roddy Creek Auto with Manager John Veronie, and Assistant Coaches BJ Schildt, Chris Emert, and Kevin Riffle; the White Sox are sponsored by Gateway Orthodontics with Manager Nick Whetzel, and Assistant Coaches Chad Dewees, Justin Misner, and Troy Tyler.

The Instructional League teams were introduced including the Cubs sponsored by Dave Seiss Construction with Manager Brandon McQuay, and Assistant Coaches Ron Lewis, and Chris Merriman; the Indians are sponsored by Davis Systems with Manager Chris Morlan, and Assistant Coaches Lane Strobel, Jimmy MCCauley, and Matt Gallion; the Mets are sponsored by Affordable Glass with Manager Chris Hewitt, with Jason Braner, and Rob Bassler; the Orioles are sponsored by Mearl R. Tyler Painting with Manager Dan Austil, and Assistant Coaches Adam Cregger and PJ Nicholson; the Pirates are sponsored by 40 West & J. Rothrock Outfitters with Manager Joey Youngerman, and Assistant Coaches Tommy Odeon, Matthew Rolko, and Luke Humerick; the Rangers are sponsored by Ashby Transportation Consultants with Manager Michael Courtney.

The Minor League teams include the Brewers sponsored by Ace Hardware with Manager Matt Myers, and Assistant Coaches Craig Mayne, Karl Williams, and Chris Stahley; the Cubs are sponsored by American Legion #168 with Manager Keith Myers, and Assistant Coaches Jay Code, Chris Buyers, and Jordan Snyder; the Nationals are sponsored by PJ’s Roofing with Manager Devin Bradshaw, and Assistant Coaches Justin Bowley, Marc Clauson, and Jason Savage; the Orioles are sponsored by Amber Hill Physical Therapy with Manager Joe Wehage, and Assistant Coaches Melissa Kinna, Tony Scarzello, Jeremy Johnson; the Rays are sponsored by A Step Up Physical Therapy wit Manager Rob Beloumo, and Assistant Coaches Greg Mehall, and Bill Salonis; the Red Sox are sponsored by Shamrock Restaurant with Manager Phil Morris, and Assistant Coaches John Reese, Michael Smith, and James Martin.

The Major League Teams include the Cubs sponsored by Concur with Manager Erik Krauss and Assistant Coaches Tim Cramer, Tom Fraley, and Clint Moore; the Nationals are sponsored by Thurmont AMVETS with Manager Bill Utermahlen, and Assistant Coaches Wayne Watkins, George Puvell, and Bob Buffington; the Orioles are sponsored by Catoctin Dental with Manager Bobby Shugars, and Assistant Coaches Paul Kovalchik, Brent Reynolds, and Craig Wangness; the Reds are sponsored by Med One Pharmacy with Manager Jeremiah Stull, and Assistant Coaches Chris Skowronski, Ryan Ferrell, and Jake Baker; the Yankees are sponsored by Woodsboro Bank, with Manager Tim Castellow, Assistant Coaches Jason Crum, Dave Manning, and Dave Shipton.

Congratulations were extended to the 2016 All-Star Team 11/12 District 2 Champions managed by Jessie Williams and coaches Ed Lowry and Chris Skowronski with players Griffin Puvel, Logan Simanski, Will Gisriel, EJ Lowry, Joshua Skowronski, Braden Bell, Connor Crum, Dylan Nicholson, Ayden Shadle, Dalton Williams, Devin Baxter, and Dylan Cevario.

The 2016 All-Star 9/10 District 2 Maryland State Champions were introduced with Manager Tim Castellow, coaches Dave Manning and Dave Shipton, and players Keith Castellow, Jacob Bell, Rylan Manning, Garrett Worth, Caden Diggs, Donovan Baker, Peyton Castellow, Braden Manning, Joseph McMannis, and DJ Shipton.

The Little League Pledge and Little League Parent Pledge were recited. A tribute to Jackie Robinson was presented in this 70th anniversary of the first time he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Since 2009, Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. Each TLL player was given a number 42 to hold during this special tribute and one TLL player, Peyton Morris, chose to wear number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson this season.

The National Anthem was sung by Thurmont resident, Bridey Puvel. She had just finished her last show at the Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Frederick, Maryland in the production of The Little Mermaid. She completed studies at Shenandoah University’s Music Conservatory and will be leaving in May for an internship in Music Therapy at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The First Pitch of the season was thrown by Wyatt Black whose dad, Chris Black, spoke about Wyatt’s journey battling and healing from bacterial meningitis and thanked the community for their support.

A group of TLL players closed out the ceremony with the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Players, coaches, parents, and spectators excitedly await the commencement of Thurmont Little League’s 66th Season Opening Day on April 15, 2017.

Members of the Pirates Tee-Ball Team are shown exiting the field following the opening day ceremony.
Wyatt Black throws the first pitch to open the 2017 Thurmont Little League season of baseball.

 2016 Championship Team players proudly display their championship banners during the opening day ceremony.