by Grace Eyler
Warm weather and clear skies welcomed players, parents, and families to Thurmont Little League’s Opening Day on Saturday, April 14, 2018. With some games beginning as early as 8:30 a.m., everyone was eager to enjoy their first day on the field for the season. At 10:00 a.m., a few hundred people gathered around the main field waiting for the Opening Ceremony to begin.
“I’ll be honest, it’s my honor to support you all and support the kids…” said new president, Jeremy Johnson, as he graciously thanked all in attendance. He commended his volunteers, board of directors, team managers, coaches, team moms, umpires, concessions, and everything in between, for making Thurmont Little League so successful.
Catoctin Dental was recognized for being Thurmont’s Grand Slam Sponsor. This year, a new scoreboard was donated and will soon be placed on the minor league field, sponsored by J&J Trash Service.
Every year, the league relies heavily on community support from not only its volunteers, but the local businesses as well. This year’s team sponsors for the Majors division include: Ace Hardware, sponsoring the Brewers; Unanet, sponsoring the Cubs; Rocky’s Pizza, sponsoring the Diamondbacks; Thurmont AMVETS, sponsoring the Nationals; Catoctin Dental, sponsoring the Orioles; PJ’s Roofing was sponsored by PJ’s Roofing, Inc.
As for the Minors, the sponsors include: Highland Yards Landscaping, sponsoring the Astros; Center of Life Chiropractic, sponsoring the Blue Jays; Cubs, sponsored by Monocacy Lawn Care; G&S Electric, sponsoring the Diamondbacks; Affordable Glass, sponsoring the Dodgers; Mearl R. Eyler Painting and D/Law, sponsoring the Orioles.
Instructional Division sponsors include: Woodsboro Bank, sponsoring the Cubs; Roy Rogers, sponsoring the Nationals; Ashby Transportation Consults, sponsoring the Orioles; PJ’s Roofing, Inc. also sponsoring the Phillies; J&J Trash Service Inc., sponsoring the Pirates; Black’s Funeral Home, sponsoring the Royals.
The T-Ball Division had a total of eight teams for the season. Sponsors include: Amber Hill Physical Therapy, sponsoring the Cardinals; Med One Pharmacy, sponsoring the Cubs; Davis Systems, sponsoring the Dodgers; American Legion Post 168, sponsoring the Indians; Sticky’s Designs, sponsoring the Marlins; Tobacco Free Frederick, sponsoring the Orioles; Shamrock, sponsoring the Pirates; Dave Siess Construction, sponsoring the Yankees.
This year’s Intermediate Division will consist of two teams (11-13 year-old), with great talent and skills. Thurmont Lightning will be led by Joe Wehage and Thurmont Thunder will be led by Brent Reynolds.
During the ceremony, DJ Brian Moe invited Thurmont’s famed 2017 All-Star team on the field, recognizing their handwork and dedication that brought them so far last year, achieving District 2 and State Champions. They competed in the Mid-Atlantic region finals and took second place. The All-Stars consisted of Braden Manning, Peyton Castellow, EJ Lowry, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, Braden Bell, DJ Shipton, Donovan Baker, Joey McMannis, Griff Puvel, Connor Crum, and Will Gisriel, with Head Coach Tim Castellow and Assistant Coaches, Ed Lowry and Chris Skowronski.
Last year, Thurmont 9-11 All-Stars also followed their older counter parts to District 2 Championships and played in the state Tournament, held in Easton, Maryland. Players included Mason Ferrell, Dallas Baker, Jordan Moore, Peyton Cramer, Ben Krauss, Gavin Watkins, Garrett Worth, Zane Shugars, Caden Diggs, RJ High, Rylan Manning, and RJ Etzler, with Head Coach Ryan Ferrell and Assistant Coaches Wayne Watkins and Jake Baker.
As DJ Brian Mo led the Player’s and Parent/Volunteer Pledge, the crowd recited in sync, leading up to the first pitch, which makes every season officially baseball season in Thurmont. This year, the Clingerman family, who has been on the fields many times to play ball, lost their beloved brother, son, and uncle, Colton Clingerman. In his honor, Reed Clingerman thanked the Thurmont Little League for all of their support. “Thurmont Little League is the glue of the community. We all come together, we are all here.” Little brother, Asher Clingerman came forth to throw the first pitch.
Closing the ceremony, Aubrie Gadra volunteered her talents to sing the “National Anthem.” After a touching performance, families were dismissed to enjoy the rest of the beautiful day on the fields and to play ball.