In concluding the spring baseball season, Central Chesterfield Little League (CCLL) hosted its first jamboree to date on Saturday, June 11, helping ballplayers five to 18 showcase their skills acquired during the season. Teams from each of the seven age-levels also battled that afternoon for Championship Day.
Jamboree competition began at 10 a.m. at the four parks at Harry G. Daniel Park at Iron Bridge, with the youngsters individually challenging each other in four separate categories: base running, pitching accuracy, outfield catching and accuracy, and lastly a home run derby. Trophies were awarded to the top three individual winners and to an overall team winner for each competition.
“The jamboree just sort of serves as a book-end to mark the closing of the season,” said Corey Simonpietri, who in his second year as league president champions CCLL’s family-friendly mentality that encourages kids to be competitive while encouraging them to do their best. “We’re just trying to create a fun event for the kids, [to] let them compete with the skills they’ve learned all season.”
First created in 1997, CCLL currently has 800 kids playing youth baseball under the league, and according to CCLL’s Vice President of Operations, Tom Jenkins, it continuously provides a steady, positive environment for kids to play baseball and learn life lessons.
“The whole day brought a great deal of excitement and fun to the fields,” Jenkins said. “Probably the best comment came from one of our young players who said the jamboree was the most fun he had ever had.”
On the senior level, the Cardinals were the league’s oldest group of champions, concluding the season with 18 wins and not a single loss on their record. Teams in the senior and junior leagues often consist of high school varsity and junior varsity players working to better their game.
Division champions from each age division were: Red Sox (A); Pirates (AA); Phillies (AAA); Dodgers (Major); A’S (Junior); Cardinals (Senior).
National’s assistant coach Bill George, who has been a parent-coach in the league for eight years, is known to be an outspoken advocate of CCLL for its positive impact on the youth. “I like the fact that this particular league uses baseball as a tool for character development for the young people who come out to play,” he said. “The league is emphatic about winning with dignity and losing with pride.”
CCLL is in the process of all-star selections to fill 14-15 teams for all levels, and will be hosting an All-Star tournament July 13 through August 6 for a 14/15 invitational and an 11/12 invitational.
The Village News encourages local youth sporting events and requests submissions of information regarding youth sports-related events.