Harrington-Felton Little League opens season

HARRINGTON — Little League season is officially underway.

Last Friday, April 21, Harrington-Felton Little League enjoyed christening the 2017 spring season with a parade and opening night festivities in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

At 6 p.m., the festivities kicked off with the parade – beginning at South Elementary School/Chipman Middle School and finishing at the little league fields.

Following the parade, player agent Matt Berardicelli led the opening night ceremony on the field, with all 38 teams lined up across the outfield. Berardicelli addressed the packed crowd as players and teams from last year were honored and the new season was ushered in.

Rylie Smith (left) and Nicholas Cimo won the foot-race around the bases as Sherman the Shorebird takes a wrong turn past third base (The Journal/Ben Heck).

“I think it was fantastic,” Berardicelli said. “The weather cooperated, which was our biggest concern. Fantastic crowd, there wasn’t an inch of space along the fence left for anyone.”

With the leagues being run completely by volunteers, a lot of work is put in to prepare for these events and it’s a year-round process, says Berardicelli.

A run-down of Friday night’s opening ceremony, which was emceed by Berardicelli himself:

  • Sara Brand sings the national anthem.
  • Pastor Bruce Tribbett leads the crowd with a prayer.
  • Bryon Warren from BW Electric throws out the first pitch, which is caught by Junior Weeks.
  • Dakota Turner Award winner: Nicole Starke (presented by Julie Brooks).
  • Alex Dean Award winner: Jonathan Tyndall (presented by Julie Brooks).
  • Mascot race: Little Leaguers Nicholas Cimo and Rylie Smith defeats Sherman the Shorebird and Jester (from Buffalo Wild Wings) in a foot race around the bases.
  • Delaware District 1’s 2016 Big League Eastern Regional Champions were honored and recognized for participating in the 2016 Big League World Series.
  • Senator Carper addresses the little leaguers and ends with “Play ball!” signaling the start to the season.

Once Senator Carper was finished addressing the crowd, play could officially begin on three of Harrington’s little league fields. In total, four games were played Friday night, including a tee-ball game. Opening weekend resumed the following day with a full slate of games at Harrington Little League fields.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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