Wind: 7 mph
A little rain and chilly temperatures did not dampen the spirits of opening day for the Mad River Valley Little League. The teams assembled early Saturday morning for the parade with a steady rain and temperatures edging 40 degrees.
The parade began at the movie theater parking lot where they followed the Mad River Valley's fire trucks and ambulances all led by Skippy, the fuzzy woodland mascot of the Vermont Mountaineers.
After assembling on the field the players heard some pearls of wisdom from Little League president Keith Munro and an address from Harwood girls' varsity coach Jon Hammond. Hammond spoke eloquently about sportsmanship (for players and parents). He also stressed the importance of simply having fun, evoking the image of young Red Sox phenomenon Dustin Pedroia, who seems to have a big, perpetual smile on his face on the field. Colleen Mays followed the speeches with a rousing rendition of the national anthem and then the cry of "Play ball!" ushered the players onto the field.
Organizers thanked David Wimble for his efforts to get the Couples Club Field ready for the season.
"Everyone is encouraged to come down and check out the new softball field. It looks terrific and comes complete with great new dugouts and is conveniently located near the concession stand. Which by the way has a cadre of great volunteers serving up some might tasty burgers and dogs on the sweet new grill donated by the folks at Belknap Plumbing and Heating," said spokesperson Eric Friedman.
Next Saturday is the Little League Bottle Drive Fundraiser. Players and parent volunteers will be making the rounds all over The Valley to collect bottles and cans. Everyone is encouraged to have bottles and cans ready for pickup on Saturday morning. Anyone that would like to request a pickup can call drive organizers Keith Munro at 496-2214 or Nicole Belknap 496-5937 to make arrangements. Bottles and cans can always be donated year round by putting them in the designated box at Armstrong's Redemption Center.