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Archive for the ‘Little League’ Category

Central Whidbey’s John Rachal fires the ball back in during a playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Celebrating during a run to the state tourney are (l to r) Madison McMillan, Allison Nastali, Chloe Marzocca, and Savina Wells. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

Central Whidbey Little League finds itself at a crossroads.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented any games from being played this spring, and the future is hazy.

While CWLL is moving forward with the hope of returning its players to the diamond in 2021, a looming crisis involving a lack of volunteers could become a major issue.

Despite being the smallest league in the region, with 90-100 players, Central Whidbey is required to have the same compliment of board members and volunteers as bigger leagues.

North and South Whidbey, Anacortes, La Conner, Sedro-Woolley, and Burlington have larger parent bases to draw from, while CWLL has had to scramble to fill all of its positions in recent years.

That may get harder very soon, unless a new generation steps up.

“CWLL finds itself in a very challenging position,” said President Gordon McMillan. “Probably not unlike many other non-profits and youth organizations in these unique times.

“And we are facing another huge challenge; the majority of the current board and volunteers have children (or grandchildren in my case!) that are “aging out” of little league in the next year or so,” he added.

“We have very few volunteers that have younger kids playing; with no line of succession, it is clear, in my opinion, CWLL may very well not survive.”

If Central Whidbey is unable to fully staff up, its players might have to try and latch on with North or South Whidbey in the near future, something which could prove difficult – especially if those organizations decide they can’t handle the influx.

“This would be tragic,” McMillan said.

The league president would hate to see Coupeville’s ballfields sit silent.

“CWLL has by far the most beautiful setting,” McMillan said. “I like to call Rhody Park our “Field of Dreams.”

“Island County Parks have been very accommodating and generous in their support of CWLL and it should be duly noted. Rhody belongs to all of us … and the county should be recognized!”

Baseball and softball have a place deep in McMillan’s heart, a big part of the reason he and others have worked so hard to make CWLL the success it is today.

“Little League has touched so many of our lives, the vast majority in a positive manner, I believe,” he said.

“Not every child can play football or basketball, but I venture a guess that every child has picked up a ball, a bat, a glove, and played some sort of baseball/softball/Wiffle ball … neighborhood … sandlot … school PE … or little league.”

For McMillan, little league made an impact on his life, first as a player, then as a coach and official through two generations of his offspring.

“Little League has been a passion of mine since 1956, when I first “made the team” in North Vancouver, BC,” he said.

“I have coached three of my kids and one granddaughter (Madison) and only hope they have, or will have, the same warm and wonderful memories as I have, and look back someday, not remembering the wins and losses, but the fun, camaraderie, and life lessons

“Then, and only then, did we, as coaches, umpires, administrators, concession operators, field maintenance crews, score keepers, spectators, etc. do a good job!”

 

If you’d like to become a volunteer, or have any suggestions for CWLL officials as they navigate the waters ahead, contact McMillan at centralwhidbeyll@gmail.com.

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Katie Marti and friends will return to the diamond. Not this spring, but at some point. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

Central Whidbey Little League officially cancelled the 2020 spring season Thursday afternoon.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having shut down much of society, the decision was not unexpected.

The league is offering three options for those who had registered their children to play baseball or softball.

Refunds will be issued upon request, or parents can choose to roll over this year’s registration fee and use it for the 2021 season.

If registration prices go up next year, those who roll over this year’s payment will NOT be required to pay the difference.

A third option is donating this year’s registration fee to CWLL, with your money being used to help the league continue to function.

Those who have registered should receive an email Thursday from the league concerning their options.

“Please know that CWLL and its Board of Directors and our many volunteers are as disappointed as most of you and your children are regarding this season,” said CWLL President Gordon McMillan.

“Please also know, that it is our firm commitment and intention that our league will be fully prepared to enjoy the 2021 season and beyond!,” he added.

“If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at centralwhidbeyll@gmail.com and I will respond to the best of my ability.”

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A new season of Central Whidbey Little League action approaches. (Jackie Saia photo)

Spring approaches, but little league action will probably beat it in getting here.

Central Whidbey Little League hosts its second, and final, skills and registration camp this coming Saturday, February 22 from 10 AM-noon at the CHS gym.

The event is open to children ages 5-15 who live in Central Whidbey (Coupeville and Greenbank), and includes all age groups (T-Ball, baseball, and fastpitch softball).

Parents are encouraged to register their children at the league’s site — https://www.centralwhidbeylittleleague.com/ — or at the skills camp.

For Saturday’s event, players are asked to wear athletic clothing and “good gym shoes.”

It’s recommended they bring their baseball and softball gear, if they have it, though some will be provided for those in need.

The league also hosts its annual field work party Mar. 14, a time when the ball fields at Rhododendron Park (502 W. Patmore Rd.) will be primed for play.

Volunteers are welcome and needed.

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Central Whidbey Little League needs softball and baseball coaches. (Jackie Saia photo)

Now’s the time to get in the game.

With spring approaching, Central Whidbey Little League is in dire need of coaches for its baseball and softball teams.

CWLL is looking for 4-5 more volunteers, who will primarily be working with players in the 8-10 age group.

If interested, contact CWLL President Gordon McMillan at (206) 550-7146.

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Sign your child up now for Central Whidbey Little League action. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Time to think about the spring.

Central Whidbey Little League is hosting an “Early Registration Day and Skills Camp” Saturday, January 18.

The event runs from noon to 2 PM at the Coupeville High School gym, and is open to children ages 5-15 who live in Central Whidbey (Coupeville and Greenbank).

All age groups (T-Ball, baseball, and fastpitch softball) are included in the skills camp.

Parents are encouraged to register their children at the league’s site — https://www.centralwhidbeylittleleague.com/ — or at the skills camp.

If you get registered by Jan. 18, you save $10.

A second registration day (at full cost) and skills camp is set for Feb. 22.

For next Saturday’s event, players are asked to wear athletic clothing and “good gym shoes.”

It’s recommended they bring their baseball and softball gear, if they have it, though some will be provided for those in need.

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